EE is switching on 5G in the UK next year, and the big rollout will start with the UK’s four capital cities – London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, alongside Birmingham and Manchester.
Ten more cities will also see 5G during 2019, with Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol also benefitting from a big boost in data speeds and reliability.
Putting 5G where it matters most
We’re building 5G networks in the busiest areas of our six launches cities, including Hyde Park in London, Manchester Arena, the Welsh Assembly, Edinburgh Waverly train station and Birmingham’s Bullring.
Because connection speeds can slow down over 4G when you’re in a busy crowd, these locations are best placed for us to improve the network experience for the most people.
In fact, the first 1,500 sites that EE upgrades to 5G next year will carry 25% of all data across the entire network – but only cover 15% of the UK population. For example, more than 2.1 million individual customers connected around Waterloo station in the last three months alone. And that’s with just one site at the station carrying more than 100 terabytes of data per day.
Not forgetting our 4G network
Our new 5G network will be built on top of our award-winning 4G one. The overall 5G experience our customers receive will be determined by both the quality of our 5G and 4G network, as well as the underlying fixed network, so it’s important we keep improving our 4G network too. Our busiest sites will feature five 4G carriers supporting 5G – delivering the fastest data speeds of any UK network in 2019.
We’ll continue to upgrade our 4G sites and turn 3G signal into 4G to improve speed and reliability across the UK. And we’re not just doing this in busy cities – we’ll put 4G into more rural parts of the UK to give those communities the coverage and capacity that they need too. That’s on top of the 350 brand new 4G sites we introduced in 2018 alone.
Expect new 5G-enabled devices in 2019
Next year promises to be an exciting time in the world of smartphones. Expect to see some stunning new 5G-enabled devices that will let you connect to our new 5G network. Plus, we’ll also be unveiling a new EE 5G home router, so you can unlock the power of 5G at home, which is great for all your connected smart devices, such as your voice-activated personal assistant and smart thermometer.