Edinburgh named as one of first United Kingdom cities for EE’s 5G upgrade

EE to roll out 5G in 16 cities next year in 'demand-led' strategy

EE has announced that the launch of its 5G service in 2019 will start in six cities (London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester), and the operator will add another 10 over the course of the year (Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol).

EE, which was the first United Kingdom network to launch 4G back in 2012, announced on Tuesday that it'll first be bringing the next-gen communications tech to Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London and Manchester; targeting the "busiest" parts of the cities, such as Manchester Airport and London's Hyde Park. It will follow a staggered demand led rollout strategy, and will launch with multiple smartphone providers, as well as an EE 5G Home router for broadband.

BT shares were trading down 1.2% at 251.65 pence each on Tuesday afternoon.


"We know that 5G in 2019 will not be about autonomous cars, smart cities, automated factories", said Marc Allera, CEO of BT's Consumer division; instead, the emphasis in the short term will be on delivering very high peak data speeds for mobile users and creating a consistent and reliable service above and beyond 4G, he said. This is another milestone for the United Kingdom and for our network journey - we'll keep evolving as we move to one, smart network for our customers. Each 5G site will boast transmission links of up to 10Gbps and connect to the Petabit-class BT 21CN backbone network. For example, in the last three months more than 2.1 million customers connected around Waterloo station, with just one site at the station accounting for more than 100 terabytes of data per day. EE is now trialling live 5G in Canary Wharf, and parts of East London. "5G is an additional layer on top of a very strong 4G foundation", Mr Allera said.

The spokesman also said that as networks evolve and coverage expands, and new devices are launched, new applications and services will be built that leverage what 5G can do.

There's also the cost of using 5G with EE confirming it will be more expensive than current 4G price plans. RootMetrics travelled 20,928 miles, and undertook 593,008 tests (including calls, data and text messages), of all four of the United Kingdom networks across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, in the first six months of 2018.

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