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EE Name First 16 UK Cities for 2019 Commercial 5G Mobile Rollout

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018 (12:56 pm) - Score 8,333

Mobile operator EE (BT) has today named the first UK cities to benefit from their commercial roll-out of ultrafast multi-Gigabit capable 5G mobile and wireless home broadband technology, which is due to begin later next year. Naturally London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast are on the list.

At present EE and Vodafone have already begun early network trials of the new network using the 3.4GHz band, although the lack of supporting 5G capable Smartphones has meant that initially these are only focused on 1Gbps+ capable fixed wireless broadband ISP style connections for homes and businesses (here and here).

Sadly most of the necessary radio spectrum bands and hardware won’t be completely ready for commercial launch until 2020, although both EE and Three UK (here) have said that they expect to begin the commercial roll-out of 5G services in 2019. Today EE has also gone one step further by announcing which areas will be the first to benefit and it’s an unsurprising list.

Overall 16 cities have been listed and the first six of those to see the new service under Phase One include London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester. EE’s initial deployment will target the “busiest parts” of these cities including London’s Hyde Park, Manchester Airport, Edinburgh Waverley train station, Belfast City Airport, The Welsh Assembly and Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre.

Indeed it’s noted that the first 1,500 sites to benefit currently carry 25% of all data across the whole network, but only cover 15% of the UK population. “EE is upgrading to 5G where it can make the biggest difference to the most people,” said the operator.

EE’s First 16 5G Cities

Phase One

Phase Two

Unlike the current trials, EE said that their commercial deployment will also launch 5G mobile services via “multiple smartphone partners,” although they also intend to launch a new EE 5G Home router with external antenna and that will be used to “showcase the power of 5G” for broadband connectivity to individual premises.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division, said:

“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. 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.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, added:

“I want London to be the world’s leading smart city and 5G expansion is at the heart of this ambition – it is good news for Londoners, innovation, and business. At City Hall we are working hard right across the capital to ensure we have the network infrastructure needed through our new Connected London programme. EE’s ambitious investment in 5G sites demonstrates that our city is a great place to invest in innovative and future-facing digital connectivity.”

According to the blurb, BT’s Technology team is virtualising elements of the core network for the 5G rollout, and is building a next generation 5G core in line with the next stage of global 5G standards, with virtualised network functions on a cloud native infrastructure.

BT’s 21CN backbone network is also said to be Petabit-class, which is important because the new connections will be much more data hungry than before. In keeping with that EE are upgrading their network to support 10Gbps links (e.g. fibre optic) at “each 5G site“, and they’ve already tested these via their trial sites in Canary Wharf and across East London.

The fact that EE will make a play for the home broadband market, which has traditionally been the domain of fixed line ISPs, would seem to support the above expectations. But in order to be taken seriously they’ll have to offer home users something akin to affordable “unlimited” usage, just like fixed line services (it remains to be seen whether or not they’ll do that).

Meanwhile EE have said that they are still upgrading their 4G network too and the busiest sites will soon have access to five carriers of 4G spectrum (bands), supporting the new 5G spectrum and making them the highest speed sites of any UK operator in 2019.

ee 5g rollout plan uk 2019

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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30 Responses
  1. SimonM says:

    It’d be nice to get a reliable 2G and 3G signal from EE, yet alone 4G, before they start their 5G rollout. Sure 5G needs to happen and the UK should be doing it no later than any other country (although it seems we already are a bit behind the initial rollout from what I gather), but I can see EE, and other companies, will use this as a great way to divert attention from failing to meet their 4G promises, and pushing back notspots even further as we wait another generation to get the always-promised coverage. I hope ISP Review and other sites will keep the pressure on the mobile companies and Ofcom to ensure that coverage targets that were promised actually do get met, rather than just diverted to yet another generational rollout which pushes it back yet further.

    1. New_Londoner says:

      According to Ofcom, all of the mobile operators have met their 4G coverage obligations – it’s confirmed on the Ofcom website. So what additional targets were you hoping ISP Review and others to hold them to account on?

    2. SimonM says:

      New_Londoner, you are quite right, thank you for pointing me towards that info. I was (still) under the impression they were far short of the promised level, but the Ofcom data seems to suggest they have passed it. Quite frankly stunned to see that considering how dismal the signal is – even the Ofcom mapping shows none or “chance of” signal… Must just be in an unlucky area.

  2. EE says:

    If 4G is worse then I think 5G will be even worsen

  3. Brian says:

    With existing coverage, there is a often a big difference between theoretical coverage and actual coverage experienced on the ground. I am a loss as to where Ofcom get their data from, for fixed broadband they thing I get at least 50% faster download sync, and an upload of double what can be achieved on ADSLmax as ADSL2+ is no yet available

  4. Steve says:

    People really need to open their eyes about 5G, even more so if they are so keen to have it, considering many top scientists have valid concerns about it, I for one will be avoiding it at all costs.



    1. Mark Jackson says:

      As I said on another article. At present there are no justified concerns related to 5G specifically, although a couple of recent studies do warrant further research in order to understand whether or not certain bands and power level combinations may need to be avoided or tweaked etc. This is true for wireless technology in general and is not merely 5G centric.

      But right now most of the work that does exist is of only limited use or vague relevance to the impact upon humans. A lot of the scaremongering comes from quacks who have misread what the related research has actually said, rather than hard empirical evidence.

    2. 5gIsAWeapon says:

      Mark – you a nothing but a filthy, lowlife, corporate shill, whoring yourself out for a technology which is going to kill and cause huge health problems for lots of people. Shame on you!

  5. Verte says:

    Absolutely Steve, 5G not only damaging to humans but to wildlife, trees and our entire ecosystem. At a simple level more intense frequencies will speed up growth – this is demonstrated with plant growth – growers use artificial pulsed microwaves to speed up growth. 5G will take us from cradle to grave quicker so at a cellular level that means cells divide quicker – heralding more cancer and likely more mental health problems as our brains are denied the vital Schumann Resonance from the ionosphere. Progress?

    1. TheFacts says:

      ‘more intense frequencies’???

    2. CarlT says:

      Citations for that microwave radiation accelerates plant growth and that Schumann resonances are vital for life, please.

      My own brief search indicated microwave radiation is, at low levels, not impacting in any way on plant growth and at high levels reduces growth, not accelerates it. Schumann resonances appear to have some ‘new age’ mysticism attached to them but nothing backed by evidence.

      If you’re going to come on here making these claims you’re going to need to back them up, else they’ll just get filed in the same section as homeopathy.

  6. Verte says:

    [admin note: wall of text without context removed. Next time just link to the source https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26368042/ please]

    1. CarlT says:

      As a student I have access to that entire article rather than just an abstract. I’ll read it later.

    2. CarlT says:

      I can’t say I’m filled with confidence having read https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/picking-cherries-in-science-the-bio-initiative-report/ though.

  7. Mike says:

    Seems 5G also causes stage 4 libtardism judging by all the environmental/health and safety nutjobs it has attracted so far.

    1. Curious says:

      Here here

  8. Mark Jackson says:

    This alone suggests to me, and probably anyone else with open eyes that this should not even be allowed to be rolled out.

    I think you’ll find all sorts of ordinary medical drugs and other things would also benefit from further research, but that is not a means to an end, it’s merely scientific prudence to explore such areas further and most likely further discount them as a concern. This is the same for 5G as it could be for any number of different things.

    As has been said before, in many of the experiments that have been done the setup is not normal or even remotely reflective of real-world mobile / WiFi services or how they’re used. In particular you’re focusing far too much on the radio spectrum bands and not enough on areas like power or transmitter design.

    Consider the 2.4GHz band. Microwave ovens use that at very high power (c.800 Watts) to focus their energy into a small area and heat it (food etc.). But generally you would not go around sticking your head in a Microwave oven or equating that to home WiFi and mobile signals, which reflect radically different implementations and power.

    Instead what you’re doing is a bit like equating petrol to water because both are clear liquids and share some other properties, but they’re both radically different in their impact upon humans and the environment.

  9. stewart says:

    I couldn’t agree more David, take vaccines for example, they have never cured anything, some will jump on me and say they have wiped out smallpox, no they have not, animals carry the pox infection and can and do pass it onto humans, nothing has ever been cured by vaccine, as for 5g, it is a weapon grade technology and has been used on the battlefield, why are birds dropping out of the sky in test areas? why is this not documented? why was documented evidence carried out on hens eggs ignored? simply because they stated it is a carcinogen, you know, a thing that causes cancer but this evidence has been ignored, the whole 5g thing is about greed and killing the population does not matter as long as they get their money, i have to wonder if they even thought about what happens when there is no one left to rob blind.

  10. disney says:

    I personally would not stick my head in. microwave you are right, so why would I accept it on every street I walk upon? And Beaming into my home 24/7?
    It’s not being a ‘quack’. or any other word it’s common sense. We were called quacks and scaremongers when concerns over x-rays and cigarettes were raised.

  11. Leon says:

    RADIOCIDE – The Soviets researched MM waves way back and found it to be biologically adverse. There are tens of thousands of studies showing problems biologically with the current sub 5GHz frequencies used in WiFi and mobiles etc (4G etc). Please research – 5G (and smart meters) before they are everywhere. 5G is untested in real terms. The ICNIRP guidelines are using quack science. They’ve assumed that microwaves can only harm cells through heating then tested effects on a dummy. If you wanted to show 4 and 5G plus WiFi is safe you’d have to extensively and independently TEST IT BIOLOGICALLY, which has not been done by those claiming it to be safe. When it has been studied and when studies are independent and not controlled by corps they often find a problem, such as the National Toxicology Study or 30K other studies. Why is it that everyone in power, or in the media, is just meekly saying ‘roll this out everywhere please, give me more speed please sir’? Do they not have minds of their own?

  12. Leon says:

    I forgot to add that 5G is in another league altogether to 4G and WiFi in possible health effects as it is going from under 5Ghz to 20 to 100 GHz, above radar frequency. Birds dropped from the sky when they tested it in the Netherlands. There was a suicide spike at Bristol Uni during their early adoption of 5G test masts. Aphids can jump when exposed to remote radar pulses so having radar arrays outside every few houses…nah, can’t see a problem with that, it’ll be fine, no need to even test it…

  13. wave-goodbye says:

    no thanks….for our health and climate – exposure to evil and honestly pointless monsters is dangerous – keep away from us and our kids….we don’t want or need need them.

  14. Meadmodj says:

    5G is simply the generic term for protocols and technology that can increase performance on a transmission frequency just as the WIFI standards are. The issue therefore is the frequencies that are used, the transmission power, harmonics, it’s attenuation etc. I have posted before regarding my concerns regarding WIFI and in particular awareness of made to cost CPE devices that transmit in our homes.

    There are concerns regarding EMF and RF but the evidence is not conclusive and mention of microwave ovens is not helpful. The WHO have classified RF as a possible Class B carcinogen along with diesel, lead etc in what is effectively their unknown box. Further research is definitely required particularly for biology effects but the problem is who should fund this. Current testing focuses on thermal, electrical, interference etc and Governments will not want to delay a technology that potentially can boost economic activity and something we commercially want to participate in.

    Even if more detailed research was mandated it could easily be manipulated by either argument. You can’t just simply compare A with B without identifying and recording all other covariants that may be statistically relevant. In addition it will be near impossible to find a realistic environment “clean” enough for the tests to avoid the contamination of results. Importantly we need to measure the intended technology and any unintended causes such as EMF of the transmitter, harmonics etc.

    The reality is that this technology is with us and therefore my view is that we take a precautionary approach and if possible take steps to minimise our exposure. In 2015 the French Government legislated that RF (particularly WIFI) should not be used nurseries and other establishments for children under 3 and should only be used in schools where it is necessary for the curriculum (babies and young children have soft skulls). It is this sort of precautionary approach we should seek elsewhere.

    As well as not knowing the harmful effects of RF we also do not know the relative levels of harm of Bluetooth, WIFI etc nor do we know their relative harm compared with the substances that are now commonly added to our food or our obsession with excessive meat consumption (no I am not a vegan).

    We should remain concerned at any industry pressure to increase transmission power simply to increase coverage above that in more enlightened countries and exert more pressure on industry to publish any research they may have positive or negative.

    For me I will continue to monitor the background level of RF in my home, I will use wired solutions wherever practical, turn off WIFI AP/Mesh when not required (particularly at night) and ensure crude transmitting devices such as routers, net cams etc are positioned at least 3m away from anybody at all times (mobiles on airplane mode if next to the bed). Whether this lowers the risk to my family I don’t know but it is a simple approach I wish to take and something I have some limited control over.

  15. sonya white says:

    I have started to research 5G and am very concerned, I don’t believe all that I read but if it was safe why are there over 200 scientists appealing against the safety of rolling out 5G.

  16. David says:

    I’m glad to see critical thinking and good sense winning out in the comments. 5g frequencies are hugely damaging to all biological life forms and the roll-out of 5g will be nothing short of a pre-meditated slow-kill of the population. Can you even begin to imagine how much profit pharmaceutical companies will make from 5g creating a chronically sick and dying population? Of course, those profiting do not live anywhere near the roll-out locations, so they are safe. Israel won’t even allow the technology inside their borders.

    If you’re concerned, and you should be, look into AEGIS wifi shielding. http://www.goaegis.com if you need a link.

  17. Del Evans says:

    “concerns related to 5G specifically,” Many scientists are genuinely worried not just concerned about 5G frying our brains for God sake.

  18. CAROLINE LEA says:

    Enforced exposure of the population to experimental 5G frequencies is breaking the law. It’s against our human rights and violates the Nuremberg Code. I DO NOT CONSENT.

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