2019 is set to be a bumper year for Britain’s leading mobile network, thanks to plans to launch this service within 16 cities.
It will come in two phases. Phase one will see it turned on in six “5G launch cities” before mid-2019. London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester have been confirmed as launch cities.
Following this a further ten locations will get these privileges from EE before the end of the year.
Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol have all been confirmed as these additional locations.
EE, part of the BT Group, is “building 5G” in the busiest parts of the respective cities. London’s Hyde Park, Manchester Airport and Edinburgh Waverley train station will be some of the first locations.
Meanwhile Belfast City Airport, The Welsh Assembly and Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre will also be covered.
What are the benefits of 5G?
This, EE say, is where the power of this technology can “really make a difference”. It is hoped that, even in the biggest crowds, 5G will provide more reliable data connection to business and consumer customers.
Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division, welcomed the ‘milestone’.
“Adding 5G to the UK’s number one 4G network will increase reliability, increase speeds and keep our customers connected where they need it most,” he said.
“This is another milestone for the UK and for our network journey. We’ll keep evolving as we move to one, smart network for our customers.
“We have an ambition to connect our customers to 4G, 5G or WiFi 100% of the time.”
Why have these cities been chosen for 5G?
In a statement, EE has confirmed that its 5G Rollout Strategy was determined by the number of business and consumer customers in each location.
Waterloo station was one example. In the last three months alone more than 2.1million customers connected there. However only one site at the station carried more than 100 terabytes of data per day.
“The first 1,500 sites that EE is upgrading to 5G in 2019 carry 25% of all data across the whole network, but only cover 15% of the UK population,” read the EE statement.
“EE is upgrading to 5G where it can make the biggest difference to the most people. 5G is built on top of EE’s award winning 4G network – customers’ 5G experience will be dictated by the quality of both 4G and 5G, as well as the underlying fixed network.”
Other countries and UK network providers are also on a mission to build more 5G opportunities. The BBC report that Vodafone, O2 and Three are all running trials of this ‘futuristic network technology’.
Meanwhile, as well as increasing capacity, EE is expanding 4G coverage into rural parts of the UK. This should give rural communities the coverage and capacity that they need, hope EE.