EE Leads the Way with 5G


The launch of 5G has been much anticipated for a while now. EE widely is recognised to be a trailblazer in this next generation of mobile communications – this month they were the first in the UK to trial 5G internet. With further trials in store and plans to launch 5G properly next year, we take a look at what EE have been up to and what we can expect from them in the coming year.

Following the precedent set by its 4G network

EE has already somewhat established itself as a leader in mobile internet with its 4G network. Firstly, it is the largest 4G network in the UK, covering 99% of the population and 91% of the UK geographically. It is also renowned for its download speed and low latency.

So what does this have to do with 5G? Well firstly, 5G will initially likely rely on a mixture of 4G and 5G infrastructure – so EE are well positioned in this sense. In fact, they have recently upgraded over 500 of its towers from 3G to 4G, which will further facilitate the switch up to 5G.

What’s more, EE’s investment and dedication when it comes to speed technology bodes well for them providing fast, high-performance 5G. They are also working together with the 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey, which carries out research into the development of a 5G infrastructure.

Well positioned with 5G-capable spectrum

At Ofcom’s recent auction of 5G spectrum, EE managed to secure good amount of 5G-capable spectrum, standing it in good stead for the rollout of the 5G network. In fact, overall EE has more spectrum than any other network, divided between immediately usable spectrum and 3.4GHz spectrum (they were allocated the 3540 – 3580MHz section of the band). And with more spectrum auctions set to happen in the future, EE will likely be collecting even more.

The UK’s first 5G trials

EE were the first network in the country to test out 5G, with the UK’s first 5G trial being launched by the company on 5th October in Canary Wharf, London. EE chose chose the busy Montgomery Square, which receives around 150,000 visitors a day, for the location of the trial. They have been testing the speed, coverage and general performance of their 5G technology using Huawei equipment.

EE are following this with a groundbreaking 5G trial network in East London. They will bring 5G technology to 10 sites in the east of the capital, where businesses and consumers will be able to try out the new network on beta 5G broadband devices. Five businesses and five households in areas such as Hoxton Square, St. Paul’s and Chiswell street will be able to try out the exciting speed and capability of 5G before anyone else in the country. EE will be aiming to deliver speeds of over one gigabit per second with the trial.

So it seems that EE really are ahead of the game when it comes to 5G. It has now confirmed that it will be rolling out 5G properly in 2019. This will also mean the UK will be getting 5G earlier than its European counterparts. Margot James, Minister for Digital, has said: “We want the UK to be a global leader in 5G.” She has also said that industry initiatives such as those being carried out by EE are working hand in hand with the government’s own work, to “help deliver the benefits of this new revolutionary technology to businesses and consumers across the UK.”

As an EE partner, A1 Comms is hotly anticipating the launch of 5G and the benefits it will bring to our business customers.