by EE Community Manager
EE Community Manager

EE is launching the UK’s first 5G service in six cities, with more to come

I'm really excited to share that EE has today announced the launch of 5G in the UK, with new 5G plans, a range of six new 5G smartphones and devices, and 5G available starting in six cities:

 

London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast.

 

From today, consumers and businesses can buy the new devices, including smartphones from Samsung, OnePlus, LG, and OPPO. We're announcing a 5GEE WiFi and 5GEE home broadband with pricing and availability to follow.  

 

The new 5G Smart plans will give you access to the UK’s first 5G network, BT Sport HD HDR, and an exclusive Gamer’s Data Pass with zero-rated data, as well as the chance to upgrade anytime, and get a device warranty for the duration of your contract.

 

 

800_ee5gspeedtestineastlondon-landscape-761201.jpgSpeed testing in central London

 

 

When does 5G launch?

 

EE’s 5G network will be switched on in the six launch cities on Thursday 30th May.

 

We’re adding 5G to the UK’s number one 4G network to increase reliability, increase speeds, and keep our customers connected where they need it most. 5G will create new experiences with augmented reality, make our customers’ lives easier, and help launch entirely new businesses that we haven’t even imagined. We’re upgrading more than 100 sites to 5G every month from today to connect more places to what 5G can enable. 

 

 

The UK’s First 5G Network

 

EE is launching 5G in the busiest parts of the UK, where 5G can really make a difference by providing a more reliable data connection to businesses and consumers. We expect customers to experience an increase in speeds of around 100-150Mbps even in the busiest areas, and some customers will break the one gigabit-per-second milestone on their 5G smartphones.  To put this into context: The fastest speed possible when EE launched 4G in 2012 was just 50Mbps. 

 

In addition to the six launch cities, in 2019 we will also be introducing 5G across the busiest parts of Bristol, Coventry, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

 

And in 2020, even more towns and cities will get 5G sites including: Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Worcester and Wolverhampton.

 


5G_social_680x680_1x1_v3.jpg5G rollout map

 

 

5G is built on top of EE’s award winning 4G network – customers will connect to both 4G and 5G at the same time to get the best possible experience, even in the most crowded areas.

 

See the 5G launch city coverage in detail > 

 

What about 4G? 

 

As well as upgrading more than 100 sites to 5G every month, EE is expanding 4G coverage into rural areas, and adding more capacity to 4G sites by turning 3G signal into 4G to enable more spectrum for a better network experience wherever EE customers go. 

 

 

The techie bit

 

This is Phase 1 of EE’s 5G rollout: a ‘non-standalone’ deployment focused on using the combined power of 4G and 5G to give customers the fastest, most reliable mobile broadband experience they’ve ever had.

 

Phase 2, from 2022, will introduce the full next generation 5G core network, enhanced device chipset capabilities, and increased availability of 5G-ready spectrum. Higher bandwidth and lower latency, coupled with expansive and growing 5G coverage, will enable a more responsive network, enabling truly immersive mobile augmented reality, real-time health monitoring, and mobile cloud gaming. Phase 2 is also a vital step on our journey to the convergence of our network technologies, as we bring together fixed, mobile and WiFi into one seamless customer experience.

 

Phase 3, from 2023, will introduce Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), Network Slicing and multi-gigabit-per-second speeds. This phase of 5G will enable critical applications like real-time traffic management of fleets of autonomous vehicles, massive sensor networks with millions of devices measuring air quality across the entire country, and the ‘tactile internet’, where a sense of touch can be added to remote real-time interactions.

 

Cutting-Edge Partnerships - the really fun bit!

 

EE is also announcing new partnerships with some of the world’s most innovative companies that will help develop new 5G experiences.

 

  • Google for Startups Campus Powered by EE 5G: Today we’re pleased to announce we are working with EE to bring 5G to Google for Startups Campus in London. We’re incredibly excited to give developers and the Campus community an environment to experience the power of 5G first hand and to develop the next generation of transformative apps and experiences.

 

  • Experience Harry Potter: Wizards Unite with EE: EE is also announcing that it is partnering with Niantic to be the exclusive telecom launch partner in the UK for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Co-published and co-developed by WB Games San Francisco and Niantic, Inc, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is an upcoming augmented reality (AR) real-world mobile title under the Portkey Games label. As part of the partnership, EE customers will have the chance to experience exclusive Harry Potter: Wizards Unite content. EE locations will appear in the game as sponsored Inns and Fortresses with higher reward payout and special quests that'll be announced at launch. EE and Niantic will also be working together to ensure the best in-game experiences on 5G in the future.

 

Are you as excited by this as we are? Let us know below! 

 

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14 REPLIES 14
by Davidw4
Explorer

Re: EE is launching the UK’s first 5G service in six cities, with more to come

Coverage maps for 5G seem very sparse indeed. Cardiff is almost 'all at sea' and London is concentrated in a few spots only. For me, in London, I wouldn't receive 5G based on those maps. Is that likely to improve to usable levels on May 30 or shall we skip 5G plans for 6+ months?

by Ace Contributor
Ace Contributor

Re: EE is launching the UK’s first 5G service in six cities, with more to come

Hi @Davidw4 

 

Welcome to the EE Community,

 

they will be upgrading 100 sites a month to 5G I would keep a eye on the coverage checker once the service is live.

 

https://ee.co.uk/why-ee/mobile-coverage

 

Thanks,

 

David.

by pwwhitehead Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Re: EE is launching the UK’s first 5G service in six cities, with more to come

It's a shame EE didn't fulfill their ambition of 4G coverage decide launching 5G, a marketing ploy to gain headlines and in this areas get more money out of customers.

 

I had two lines with EE. I waited three years for the planning and build of a mast, which I was informed would give coverage to my location in North Norfolk. The build a Monopole expanded the geographical coverage a massive distance of 300-400 meters from the mast.

 

A total joke. How will EE fulfill their Emergency Services Network with that forsight and mast building. Unfortunately as a result of this poor coverage and type of mast build I left EE.

 

I now get blanket 4G coverage even indoors for the whole of my town.

by Ace Contributor
Ace Contributor

Re: EE is launching the UK’s first 5G service in six cities, with more to come

@pwwhitehead they are continuing to improve 4G while rolling out 5G.

by Ace Contributor
Ace Contributor

Re: EE is launching the UK’s first 5G service in six cities, with more to come

Where in North Norfolk are you if you don't mind my asking? I am currently in North Norfolk but have benefitted from the new masts installed. 

 

They have to be so short in order to get approved, not really through EE's choice. 

by ianw123 Investigator
Investigator

Re: EE is launching the UK’s first 5G service in six cities, with more to come

Hi 

 

I am currently using 4G data SIMs with a TV broadcasting device called Live U. This bonds together all the data streams to send a high quality video signal - like broadcast quality Skype. 

 

In normal situations - in city environments, when there aren't too many other phone users around, 4G performs well and provides the 6mbs signal that makes my picture watchable using the Live U streaming device. 

 

If there is a crowd / demonstration of a few thousand people with phones,  streaming or using 4G in the same area, the signal on my SIM cards can drop to 150kbs and becomes virtually unusable for my streaming device. 

 

My question is - if I get a HTC 5G hotspot device will it perform in the same fashion when I  use it in a very busy environment ? Or does it have some priority over the 4G users ? 

 

What I don't want to do is replace my 4G hotspots and 4G SIM cards, thinking that I will get more bandwidth - only to find that when it gets busy, the network will just share out the available signal to everyone and I'm left in the same situation ( with internet bandwidth under 6mbs) 

 

I am looking to use the 5G in central London, around Westminster ( SW1) West End and in the Royal Parks. 

 

If you have any technical data or actual field experience data from your EE technical staff, I would be very grateful. 

 

Thanks

 

Ian 

by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: EE is launching the UK’s first 5G service in six cities, with more to come

Having a 5G device and tariff doesn't gove you priority on the 4G network.

 

It's just you are able to get 5G in a 5G enabled area.


BrendonH (Android Expert) Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Android 10/One UI 2.0)
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by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: EE is launching the UK’s first 5G service in six cities, with more to come

@ianw123   You’ll notice a big difference with 5G as currently it’s a small number of users.  

Nothing can be done about lots of customers connecting to the same mast causing a strain on that mast.  The more strain on a mast the mast works harder and as a result the area the mast can cover is reduced.    

by ianw123 Investigator
Investigator

Re: EE is launching the UK’s first 5G service in six cities, with more to come

Thanks for yours and Chris's reply. I do understand that I'm not buying privileges over 4G users by signing up to 5G - the issue that I wanted to clarify, is that 5G is described as sharing the existing 4G network, so I want to know is, that as the network gets overloaded with 4G users, will it take down the available 5G bandwidth or is this ring fenced for 5G users ? 

I was hoping to hear back from any EE network technical people, otherwise we are all making assumed conclusions about the potential performance of this 'new' 5G network. 

I remember how the early adopters of the 4G network got amazing bandwidth over 3G users but this slowly normalised as everyone else joined the party. 

As the data contact I'm interested in is £ 50 per month ( double what I pay for the 4G contract), I want to feel confident I will get the network performance in these high volume environments, otherwise it is a waste. 

 

Hopefully this could prompt an official EE response, as the front line EE telephone staff ( who are understandably not network engineers ) tried, but were unable  to get me a more detailed answer.

 

Thanks again. 

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: EE is launching the UK’s first 5G service in six cities, with more to come

@ianw123   The best person to answer all your questions is @Peter_C  

by Ace Contributor
Ace Contributor

Re: EE is launching the UK’s first 5G service in six cities, with more to come

EE's 5G is currently of a Non-Standalone Architecture, technically LTE-NR Dual Connectivity [EN-DC] where LTE (4G) and NR (5G) are used simultaneously. While this is because the control plane exists on 4G, it can also provide the benefit of combined downlink user plane bandwidth capability deriving from the two technologies and their respective layers. On quiet sites, gigabit speeds become more achievable than previously thanks to the 5G acting as an extra "boost" to the 4G. Strictly, the 4G does not have to deliver any user throughput, in either direction, user traffic can transit through 5G alone - even if throughput from 4G is near enough zero in both directions, you will still get full access to 5G.

 

 

 

by ianw123 Investigator
Investigator

Re: EE is launching the UK’s first 5G service in six cities, with more to come

Thank you Peter for that very technical explanation. As I understand it in lay terms, you are saying that 4G users can benefit from the presence of the 5G bandwidth during quiet times, but when the 4G network is busy with 4G users, it doesn't affect the available service on the 5G side of the network. Is that correct ? 

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: EE is launching the UK’s first 5G service in six cities, with more to come

@ianw123   I told you @Peter_C  was the best person to answer your question. 😁  but I think he needs to dumb it down a little.  😆

by Ace Contributor
Ace Contributor

Re: EE is launching the UK’s first 5G service in six cities, with more to come

4G only users cannot directly benefit from the 5G bandwidth as their devices cannot "see" it.

When 4G is busy, it will affect the performance available on a 5G device because the overall throughput is a combination of 4G and 5G bandwidths.

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