EE will switch on its 5G
service in six cities on May 30, ahead of rival Vodafone’s
release date in July.
If you are an EE customer in
Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London and Manchester then long wait
for 5G is very nearly over. If you are not in one of these cities where EE is
launching 5G it will not necessarily be long until are, with EE announcing
plans for 10 more cities to be added this year.
Prices for 5G – which
require 5G compatible handsets or routers to take advantage of the technology –
will start at £54 per month for 10 gigabytes of data.
“This is the start of the UK’s
5G journey and great news for our customers that want and need the best
connections,” says Marc Allera, Chief Executive of BT’s consumer division,
which owns EE.
Though there is a long road
ahead, with EE admitting that its launch is just the first phase of its
roll-out, with “full next-generation 5G” not available until 2022.
Several other countries have
announced 5G services, including South Korea and the US.
According to the mobile
operator there will be three major improvements for customers making the swap
from 4G to 5G:
- Increased capacity – making it easier to get service in busy
places such as railway stations and stadiums.
- Average speeds will go to 150Mbps compared with a top speed
of 50Mbps when 4G was launched.
- Low latency – of particular benefit for new services such as
those using augmented reality.
Like other UK mobile
operators EE currently uses Huawei’s equipment, though says it is in the
process of removing it from its 4G network.
Mr Allera told the BBC, “There is no current government guidance
to suggest we should not use Huawei, but if the guidance changes we will
reconsider. That will be disruptive but there are other people that provide the