Everything you need to know about 5G

Updated 19 August 2020 

Our 5G network is now switched on and live in 100 towns and cities across the UK, giving you a more reliable service, speeds like you’ve never seen before and instant connection to the content you love most.

Here’s everything you need to know about 5G on EE.

What is 5G?

5G is the next generation of mobile network technology. It will improve your mobile experience and help you enjoy faster internet speeds, a more reliable data connection in busy places, and a near-instant connection when opening apps and websites, playing games or connecting to your smart home devices.

But 5G is not a replacement for 4G. It simply adds another layer to our network to provide you with a faster, smoother and better mobile experience.

Where is 5G?

We're leading the UK on 5G rollout. We launched with 5G coverage in London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester in May 2019, and have expanded 5G on a daily basis. We've since added 5G to towns and cities including Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Sunderland, Northampton, Stevenage and Wakefield.

As well as switching on the first 5G sites in cities and large towns, we've brought 5G to more high footfall places, including London Euston Station, Cardiff Central station, Glasgow’s Bath Street and St Enoch Square, Belfast’s Kingspan Stadium, and Coventry’s Council House and Cathedral ruins.

What are the benefits of 5G?

-      Better connection in busy places

Sometimes in busy places, and during peak times, the internet connection on your phone can slow down. Networks reach their limit when too many people try to connect in the same place at the same time.

With 5G, our network will give you a more reliable connection in the busiest places, so you can video call friends and family, stream sports and download the latest TV show everyone’s talking about – at busy train stations, stadiums and festivals.

-      Faster speeds, better quality

5G brings you speeds like you’ve never seen before on your smartphone. This means you’ll be able to do
things much faster than you can using 4G. You’ll be able to reliably stream video at higher resolutions, enjoy higher quality video calls and download content faster – including downloading films in seconds rather than minutes. Want to watch something on a long train journey? You could download an entire box-set while the train’s pulling into the station. 

-      Instant connection

5G gives you a near-instant connection to the content you love most, with very little lag. Whether you’re opening apps and webpages or playing the latest high-resolution game on your phone, everything will feel super-quick. What’s more, a near-instant connection opens up possibilities for exciting new augmented and virtual reality experiences on your smartphone.

How does 5G work?

Whether you’re making a call, sending a text or connecting to the internet, all wireless communications take place over radio frequencies. 5G mainly uses higher frequencies than 4G – and these frequencies are faster and can carry more information. 5G also supports more devices – or SmartThings – being used at the same time.

A 5G network can also be ‘sliced’, which means operators like EE can ‘slice’ parts of the network and dedicate them to specific tasks. For example, one part of the network can be used for phones connecting to the internet and another part can be used for driverless cars.

Will I need a new phone to use 5G?

To use 5G, you’ll need to get a 5G phone. You’ll also need one of our 5G plans. Our 5G Smart Plans are the best in our range – packed with added benefits.

Discover the latest 5G phones >

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