EE has today, 30th May, launched 5G in the UK.
Connectivity has been switched on in six cities – London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast.
5G smartphones from Samsung, OnePlus, LG and Oppo are among the new devices available to order. EE is also launching the UK’s first 5G home broadband service, which the mobile operator said is faster than superfast fibre and offers consistently reliable speeds – ideal for gaming, streaming, video calling, and downloading in 4K.
Following this initial launch, EE will continue the rollout with more than 100 new 5G sites being added every month, providing 5G in Bristol, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Additional sites will be added in Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Worcester and Wolverhampton in 2020.
At the same time, EE is expanding its 4G coverage into rural areas, and adding more capacity to 4G sites by turning 3G signal into 4G to enable more spectrum.
EE’s 5G rollout is planned to take place in three key stages.
In this first phase, 5G is built on top of its existing 4G network, with customers connecting to both 4G and 5G at the same time.
Phase 2, from 2022, will introduce the full next-generation 5G core network, enhanced device chipset capabilities, and increased availability of 5G-ready spectrum. This will enable immersive mobile augmented reality, real-time health monitoring, and mobile cloud gaming.
Phase 3, from 2023, will bring Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), network slicing and multi-gigabit-per-second speeds. According to EE, this phase of 5G will enable critical applications such as 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.
Our Next-generation connectivity report explores how businesses are preparing for the impact of next-generation internet connectivity and the integral role that 5G plays. Our research found that almost nine in ten respondents (87%) regard 5G specifically as being “strategically important” to their business over the next five years. For more information download our next generation connectivity report now.