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4G vs 5G: what’s the difference?

22 February 2019

5G is making its way to the UK, but it’s not the end for 4G! 4G is still the bedrock of our network, connecting people to the services they need and love, right across the UK. Every day, we’re building new 4G sites in rural parts of the UK, giving communities a digital connection for the first time.

Unlike 3G to 4G, 5G is not a replacement for 4G. It adds another layer to the network to provide more capacity in the busiest parts of the UK’s busiest cities.

Let’s look at how 4G and 5G will work together.

When 4G first arrived on our phones in 2012 it was revolutionary. It’s shaped how people across the UK communicate, watch, learn and share.

5G will build on that.

Adding 5G to the UK’s number one 4G network will increase reliability and keep people connected where they need it most, in the busiest places. 5G will offer customers increased speeds, more reliable coverage and reduced latency. This will mean faster downloads of your favourite films and albums, quicker website browsing, and a better streaming experience in busy areas.

5G has the potential to give customers 1Gbps speeds to their smartphones – that’s an incredible milestone to reach. And it can reduce latency from 30-40ms today, to as low as 10ms in the future.

And 5G will work hand-in-hand with 4G: when you connect to 5G on EE, you’re actually connecting to both the 4G and 5G parts of the network at the same time, and you get the combined power of all that 4G and 5G capacity. 

5G isn’t a replacement for 4G – it’s an addition to our existing award-winning network.

Our 5G roll out will start with the busiest locations in the busiest cities where it can make the biggest difference to the most people.

You’ll need a new phone to use 5G. Expect 5G-enabled devices to appear this summer – Samsung has already announced they’re due to bring their Galaxy S10 5G to the market in 2019, and we’ll be ranging the OnePlus 5G smartphone on our network.

It’s time to get excited about the possibilities of 5G, but don’t forget the importance of a great 4G network to enable those possibilities and keep you connected everywhere you go. We certainly won’t.

To be the first to hear about 5G and the latest devices on EE, register your interest now.

Discover everything you need to know about 5G >

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