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EE UK Prep Huawei 5G CPE Pro Router for Home Mobile Broadband

Sunday, February 24th, 2019 (4:18 pm) - Score 21,427

Mobile operator EE (BT) has revealed that they intend to offer the Huawei 5G CPE Pro device as a “home router” alongside their future mobile broadband service for UK homes, which can in theory deliver peak speeds of “up to” 4.6Gbps in the sub-6GHz radio spectrum bands or up to 6.5Gbps using mmWave spectrum.

The speeds given above are the theoretical maximum of the hardware itself, according to Huawei, and NOT EE’s own expectations. Naturally such figures are unlikely to be achieved in a normal real-world network environment, where many users will be sucking from the same limited capacity (data supply and spectrum).

Huawei notes that in live tests the router achieved the slightly lower speed of 3.2Gbps, but we suspect that too would have been conducted under ideal circumstances. Just for some context, a lot of the latest 4G hardware today can cope with 1Gbps speeds but you rarely ever see it reach anything like that high when you connect. The same will be true here but the speeds should still beat 4G and by a fair margin.

Apparently the new router is powered by Huawei’s Balong 5000 chipset, which supports both standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) network architectures for 5G. With non-standalone, 5G network architecture is built on top of legacy 4G LTE networks, whereas standalone 5G, as the name implies, will have its own independent architecture.

The router will also come with the latest Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard for connecting devices in your home (phones, computers etc.) and peak speeds of 4.8Gbps are being promoted. Except this too is a theoretical figure and we all know how variable WiFi performance can be in the real-world. Check out the video below for today’s announcement (timed to start at the point for the router).

EE has already named the first 16 UK cities to benefit from their forthcoming commercial roll-out of an ultrafast (multi-Gigabit capable) 5G mobile and wireless home broadband ISP network (here), which is due to begin later in 2019 and will initially only focus on covering the busiest locations (starting in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast etc.).

As yet there are no details on price or usage allowance, although a lot of operators (e.g. Three UK) seem to be positioning 5G as a possible replacement for fixed line broadband. We’ll have to see if that holds true for EE when the first packages surface. At least the customer hardware should be more than up to the task of Gigabit performance, even if the networks themselves will have to try very hard in order to deliver on that.

Leave a Comment
35 Responses
  1. Avatar Mark says:

    It will not matter how fast they they get a home broadband service if they continue to cap. It can only work in the modern world unlimited. Let’s hope they see the future the way three does. Or they may as well not bother 🙂

    1. Avatar andyroochoo says:

      its interesting you say that because there are still 4G price plans with 500mb.

      I can use 500mb before i even leave the house for work by fetching my podcasts to listen to on the bus.

      Personally I can’t ever see ee offering unlimited because of the greedy parent company that is BT.

      the future is exciting 🙂

    2. Avatar marcus bennett says:

      110% agree 🙂 Only three does truly Unlimited Plans in the UK, now for both phone and Home DSL. Until EE is able to follow I would never consider or recommend them.

    3. Avatar MrMe says:

      Multiple providers are offering “unlimited” triple play now for £20 a month.
      I honestly would love to see all broadband (Fixed and Mobile) change to be something along the lines of “limit size fair usage, then throttle” packages instead of actual hard data limits. The Overage charges make a lot of money so we will not see that I guess… But it was nice in the past when you could pay £2 a month for “Unlimited” data that had FU of 500 meg, but keep working (at a slower speed) once you passed it.

    4. Avatar Mike says:

      EE offer 500GB now so I’d expect their 5G Home Broadband to offer at least 1000GB.

    5. Avatar alan says:

      500GB a month for what £100, ill pass on that rip off.

    6. Avatar mrpops2ko says:

      not even threes plans are truly unlimited. I went digging into the TOS and its 1000 gb before you get throttled, still 1tb is decent enough but not unlimited.

    7. Avatar Mike says:

      Simply untrue, usage above 1TB gives Three the ability to get rid of you if they so choose, there is no throttling though.

    8. Avatar Michael V says:

      I don’t see how you can say Three don’t have truly unlimited usage. If we streamed YouTube all day at 1440p after 1 month, usage would total about 1TB. Even then it’s a ‘soft cap’. There’s no booting any customer off the Operator’s service or reduction in speeds. So it really is use what you want.

  2. Avatar 5G Infinity says:

    Lets get to basics, can’t even get 4G indoors from EE, have to use 3G Signal boxes. If do speed test in village its 10 to 30Mbps max, not Gbps.

    Those who could use this most likely have brilliant WiFi from an 80Mbps FTTC connection.

    1. Avatar A_Builder says:

      A symmetrical FTTP connection would be needed to make full use of this.

      FTTC won’t get you very far.

    2. Avatar TheFacts says:

      Full use being?

    3. Avatar CJ says:

      “Those who could use this most likely have brilliant WiFi from an 80Mbps FTTC connection.”

      It’s probably not for everyone. It’s far more suitable for people in my situation, living in an urban area with good mobile coverage but in a non-cabled street and a long way from my cabinet.

      Virgin Mobile (EE, but capped at about 70Mbps down) is already more than twice my FTTC speed, up and down. Three is using far less radio spectrum locally and rarely exceeds 10Mbps down, so EE & Virgin Mobile get my money for now.

      I expect I’ll be using something like this 5G device as my only ultrafast option in the medium term.

    4. Avatar CarlT says:

      Let’s not.

      Mobile network operators are private enterprises not public services. Within the confines of regulations they’ll do what they consider in the best interests of shareholders.

      Putting new kit on existing masts in densely populated areas is probably far more attractive than building new masts to cater for some hundreds of people.

    5. Avatar john says:

      I have a FTTC connection and only get 15mb down and less than 1mb up.

      I cannot wait for a 5G home broadband future.

      I also got great 4G signal. Three’s unlimited home fi seems like my best option.

  3. Avatar Blue pill says:

    3 are not unlimited, and after to use 20gb,you speeds drops….. Until mobile/isp companies are given the same status as gas/water/electricity then everyone will continue to suffer… That’s the uncomfortable facts in all this

    1. Avatar MR DECLAN LYONS says:

      They offer unlimited 4G on new plans. It’s a little more.

    2. Avatar Michael V says:

      @Blue Pill. Three really do offer unlimited data with absolutely no slow down. 4G speeds may not be the fastest but the are decent. U must be having a bad experience…

    3. Avatar Mike says:

      Even going over 1TB doesn’t get you slowed down.

    4. Avatar Michael V says:

      15 days in to my month now & used around 200GB! Full speed ahead for the next half of my [billing] month!

    5. Avatar kurstykrab says:

      ”’3 are not unlimited, and after to use 20gb,you speeds drops…..”’

      This is wrong and completely made up.

    6. Avatar CarlT says:

      ‘Until mobile/isp companies are given the same status as gas/water/electricity then everyone will continue to suffer… That’s the uncomfortable facts in all this’

      You’d like to pay for usage?

      I’m sure they’d be fine with that.

  4. Avatar Mike says:

    While 4G can handle 1Gbps+ now, most providers haven’t deployed the upgrades to get anywhere near that and in Three’s case iirc they haven’t even gone past 150Mbps (Cat 4 LTE) yet in most areas.

  5. Avatar carl gizzi says:

    Whilst not essential for Web browsing but gamers will want low pings no note of these expectations?

    1. Avatar Mike says:

      Should be similar or better than FTTC.

      Three will soon be adding more datacenters to reduce latency on 4G as well.

    2. Avatar kandikat says:


      this has already been done, the centres are live and all masts are connected.

      If 5G is indeed the saviour to rubbish DSL/no fibre areas then three are doing something positive.

    3. Avatar Mike says:


      From what I’ve heard they are live only for Three employees as a trial before rolling out to all customers.

    4. Avatar kandikat says:

      theres some mis information on the subject. maybe we are both wrong (or right)

    5. Avatar CarlT says:

      If Three have connected all masts to the new network it’s been a waste of time so far given the magnificent performance I was seeing, as per, over the weekend.

      Even if connected to ‘new datacentres’ absolutely meaningless if they refuse, and there’s no other explanation given the timescale, to upgrade backhaul and transport network.

    6. Avatar CJ says:

      I don’t know what Three’s backhaul is like at my mast, but if it is a constraint then it’s unlikely to be due to lack of available fibre to the site.

      The more obvious bottleneck is they are only using 15MHz of 4G spectrum where EE currently use 55MHz (2xB7 + B3) from the same mast.

      Whatever the cause, EE is much faster than my FTTC connection while Three usually crawls along with faster upload than download.

  6. Avatar John says:

    I never touch EE OR BT OR VIRGIN 3UK all the way paying £10 unlimited broadband monthly usage well over 2.5tb no slow down EE will charge you well over £700 FOR 2.5TB usage.

    1. Avatar New_Londoner says:

      That’s precisely why I stopped using Three – far too many datahogs trying to download the entire internet every night, but paying budget prices that don’t leave enough margin to upgrade the supporting infrastructure. I moved to EE to get a much faster service with properly dimensioned backhaul and far superior coverage.

    2. Avatar James says:

      Good on you getting fleeced by EE I get around 70mb at off-peak and on peak 50 mb EE cannot match three UK on prices they are a money grabbing thieves at least offer people unlimited data for £100 a month.

    3. Avatar New_Londoner says:

      @James / John
      The odd bit of punctuation would make your comments a lot easier to understand.

  7. Avatar Chris says:

    Three = 68.4/37.5 £10

    VM = 110/6.20 £35

    At least the mobile broadband is keeping the fixed line lot honest.

    It is astonishing I can get such fast throughput through the shared mobile infrastructure.

    It won’t be longer before we all consider it odd having to connect our homes to the internet via a cable and then to our own WiFi.

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