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ISP BT to Follow EE and Launch Ultrafast 5G Mobile this Autumn

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019 (12:21 pm) - Score 5,503
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In an unsurprising development BT has announced that they will launch their own 5G based ultrafast mobile broadband service this autumn, which will initially be made available to subscribers of their premium “Plus” packages. As you’d expect this is due to be based off EE’s national UK network.

Mobile operator EE began a limited commercial rollout of 5G technology in May 2019 (full details), which harnesses the 3.4GHz radio spectrum band and aims to cover 16 UK cities by the end of 2019. Unfortunately there’s not a lot else to add to today’s announcement since BT has opted not to reveal any solid details until later.

All we know is that BT Plus customers will be the first to be offered an upgrade. This reflects the operator’s “converged fibre and mobile” plan and comes with their “Keep Connected Promise“. If a BT Plus customer reports a fault with their home broadband, BT will switch on free, unlimited data on their BT mobiles within an hour and will also send a free 4G Wi-Fi Mini Hub to arrive the next day, with unlimited data (until the service is repaired). BT Plus customers also benefit from 24/7 dedicated UK and Ireland support.

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

“We’re bringing together the best fibre and mobile connections to help keep our customers connected, both on the go and at home. Launching 5G for BT customers will give them the opportunity to experience the fastest mobile speeds in the busiest areas of the UK, and our BT Plus customers will have the first opportunity to sign up for 5G.”

Historically mobile improvements have eventually also filtered down to BT’s low cost sibling ISP Plusnet, although that usually takes a fair bit longer to occur. Admittedly being late to the party isn’t such a problem at this stage, while 5G coverage is still in its infancy.

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Mark Jackson
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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8 Responses
  1. Avatar James Heys Whittaker

    I’d be more impressed if BT/Openreach concentrated on offering broadband above 10mbps to ALL their customers, before rolling out 5G! My broadband currently runs at 0.25mbps and last year was promised FTTP by the end of December, this has now moved to the end of September 2019 but not guaranteed. The cable is at the end of our lane, we just need the final 400m running to the properties to complete the job. Why the delay? The most annoying aspect is that my phone contract has run out but I’m loathe to sign a new one as, when I have FTTP, I won’t need as much data on my phone. And what BT never mention is aluminium telephone cables, some of which are present between the exchange in Wooler and my property 4 miles away. BT are a joke, but it’s me being laughed at!

    • Avatar Mike

      Or you could just use 4G…

    • Avatar SuperFast Dream

      As Mike says, if you have access to a 4G signal that could be your answer even in the short term until they finalise the cable run.

      There’s a lot to be said for 4G too, especially if you can grab a decent speed and an unlimited plan on a provider such as Three (and Vodafone too now I believe).

      We switched to 4G via Three (unlimited) last year owing to BT dragging their heals on any form of FTTP delivery. We went from ADSLMax of about 4.5Mbps to 4G of 60Mbps+ and reduced the cost of delivery from about £35 per month to £20 per month (no landline). Granted there was an issue where I needed a static IP but I just purchased a low-cost VPN package for that and all is good.

      The further beauty of the switch, we can take our Broadband with us now! Just last weekend we went camping with the kids, made sure we picked a campsite with electric hook-up and took the 4G Router with us = happy kids and therefore a happy mummy and daddy!

    • Avatar SuperFast Dream

      That should state FTTC and not FTTP in my response above.

    • Avatar 125us

      Telcos need the revenue from early adopters paying for new services to pay for other stuff. If they don’t, competitors will take that revenue.

  2. Avatar Common Sense Guy

    I still don’t understand why BT Mobile is run as an MVNO.

    I bet enabling the network for 5G will take quite a bit of engineering work.

    Thing is they own EE now. Scrap BT mobile and whatever infrastructure is there and just sell EE services direct with different plans?

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