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EE Switch-on Ultrafast 5G Mobile Network in 9 Extra UK Towns

Friday, May 29th, 2020 (3:35 pm) - Score 20,432
ee london 5g urban city trial broadband

Mobile operator EE (BT) has started to extend their new 5G ultrafast mobile broadband network to cover an additional 9 towns and cities across the United Kingdom, including locations such as Southend-on-Sea, Stirling and Weybridge.

The development means that EE’s 5G network is now live across busy parts of 80 UK locations, although it will take a long time to reach the same level of coverage in each areas as has already been achieved by existing 4G networks. The operator’s website actually lists “Stirling” under towns, although these days it’s usually described as a city (we’ve noted this to EE).

NOTE: The latest 9 additions include the “towns” of Borehamwood, Weybridge, Newton-le-Willows, Paisley, Chesterfield, Southend-on-Sea, Inchinnan, Stirling and Westhoughton.

At present the operator is only able to harness a 40MHz slice of the 3.4GHz radio spectrum band for their 5G service, although more bands are due to be released by Ofcom later this year (e.g. 700MHz and 3.6-3.8GHz). Nevertheless they’ve so far been able to deliver better speeds than rivals at Vodafone, O2 and Three UK, although it remains to be seen whether this will last.

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

“One year ago today, we started the UK’s 5G journey by launching the first 5G network. In just one year, we’ve already seen a number of incredible experiences and real-life use cases that 5G enables, both for consumers and businesses, and there’s still so much more to come. 5G technology will continue to make our customers’ lives easier, make our networks more efficient, and help launch entirely new ideas and businesses that we haven’t yet imagined.”

The operator has previously told customers to expect an increase in speeds of around 100-150Mbps from 5G – “even in the busiest areas” – and at the same time they also predicted that “some customers” may break the 1Gbps (1000Mbps+) milestone on their 5G smartphones (the fastest speed possible when EE launched 4G in 2012 was just 50Mbps). But getting 1Gbps in busy urban areas, with only 40MHz of spectrum, is likely to be quite rare.

The most recent data from Opensignal did however confirm that their customers were achieving an average 5G download speed of 149.8Mbps (Megabits per second), which is well above the typical 4G average on their network of 33.1Mbps (here).

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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.
Leave a Comment
32 Responses
  1. tim says:

    Give it another 2-3 years and we might be starting to see coverage that is worth upgrading to a 5G phone…

    I’d still prefer to have good indoor and rural 4G coverage than patchy outdoor only 5G!

  2. Neville says:

    Yet again wales left behind what a change

    1. Matt says:

      Wales is not exactly known for having a bunch of large cities and masses of population roaming around needing/wanting bandwdith

    2. Archie says:

      It’s not merely Wales that is left out. Most of Britain is rural. Plenty of towns, villages in Scotland and England don’t receive the latest tech.

    3. TH says:

      It’s certainly not just Wales. The issue here (and it’s the same in every country) is that areas with higher population density gets these things first. If they put a transmitter in central London for example, they can reach several million customers. If they out one in areas with a much lower population density like much of north east England, much of south west england, large parts of Scotland and, yes, much of Wales, each transmitter only reaches a couple of thousand people. If you’re a company, you’re obviously going to prioritise areas where you can reach most customers. If you look at America for example, it’s the largest cities like new York that always get things first. That’s just life.

  3. Matt says:

    Awesome, looking at 5G coverage maps from all the providers EE seems to be rocking it.

    However until I get upgraded to a 5G device I won’t be able to confirm.

    I looked at Three’s 5G coverage for Birmingham and Solihull and it seems near non-existent, Vodafone/O2 seemingly only slightly better.

    Don’t mean to sound like a fanboy but there is a reason I’ve preffered EE’s service over of the other main operators for the past 5/6 years.

    I have faith they will come out of the auctions with some more bandwidth to pair and also so range boosting spectrum too.

    1. Mike says:

      Not only consistently faster but better latency as well in most areas.

  4. stephen says:

    When can “west wales” Ceredigion/Dyfed/ expect FTTP and 5G…

    Sick of it being either north or south wales… where the hell is the broadband for us rural areas..

    1. Matt says:

      Probably the same place FTTP and 5G is in my urban area of Birmingham.

      Don’t assume its just rural area’s lacking in upgrades.

  5. Darren McCoy says:

    Where’s my gigabit download speeds? Seems more like 4G+.

    1. Matt says:

      Please read the following above,

      “The operator has previously told customers to expect an increase in speeds of around 100-150Mbpsfrom 5G – “even in the busiest areas” – and at the same time they also predicted that “some customers” may break the 1Gbps (1000Mbps+) milestone on their 5G smartphones (the fastest speed possible when EE launched 4G in 2012 was just 50Mbps). But getting 1Gbps in busy urban areas, with only 40MHz of spectrum, is likely to be quite rare.”

  6. adam west says:

    EE is supposed to be switching 5G on in Wakefield Town centre and there is no 5G there at all. I upgraded my phone to the S20 ultra 5G 2 months ago and still no 5G. Stop advertising 5G in towns your not switching on EE

    1. Matt says:

      5G is available in wakefield, just not in the city centre.

    2. CarlT says:

      There is very little 5G in Wakefield, a couple of cells. Have they actually advertised it?

  7. Barbara says:

    [Admin note: Comment removed for spreading a false and harmful COVID-19 conspiracy theory]

    1. anon says:

      Fake new – pls delete.

    2. Matt says:

      agreed with anon

    3. CarlT says:

      Guess you’re in one of those areas given it’s screwed you up to the point where you can’t spell either ‘killing’ or ‘culling’, depending which you were going for, ‘symptoms’ or note where the apostrophe is in ‘let’s’.

      I think you’ve some far more basic things to learn before you try and explain to yourself any link between non-ionising radiation and a virus binding to the ACE-2 receptor and triggering a wide variety of symptoms as a result of its impact on the body.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angiotensin-converting_enzyme_2 if you’re interested in some facts rather than total nonsense given you’re blaming 3.4 GHz radiation while the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radiation from WiFi has gone without comment.

      Numpty.

    4. Lexx says:

      you should be scared of light bulbs then (but I guess your holographic stickers will protect you

  8. Simon says:

    ha! iI’m in the centre of Chesterfield – getting 4mbps on 5G on S20 Ultra! on EE!

    1. Matt says:

      Lmao.

    2. TH says:

      It’s really important to check the coverage checker on the networks website. I notice that a lot of the networks are saying 5G is available in a certain place but when you look at the coverage map it’s only actually limited places in that area that have it. If where you live is showing on the EE website as being covered by 5G and you’re not getting it, or getting slow speeds, then it’s worth complaining. I did that with Three and they knocked £3 a month off my bill.

  9. robert scriven says:

    Will try and upgrade my unlimited plan with EE, the new one is £35 a month for 5G.

    Currently get 120 plus on 4G at the retail park in Chesterfield, 50-80 on the outskirts in Hasland.

  10. Shane says:

    I live in Hull and EE 5G is supposed to turned on here! I very rarely get a 5G signal and even when I do its no faster or not noticeably faster. Am not impressed with the 5G as it stands and feel robbed as I got a Note 10+ 5G because EE was allegedly turning on 5G in Hull at the beginning of the year! Very disappointed

    1. TH says:

      Have you looked at the coverage checker on EE’s website? When you look, you often see that only certain parts of a city are covered at the moment. One of my friends in manchester is having a similar problem with Three. They said 5G was switched on there, but when you look at the coverage checker on their website, it’s only actually some very limited parts of the city where it’s available at the moment

  11. Margaret mchugh says:

    Well I hope they extend to Swindon because my speed is rubbish

  12. Mark Wright says:

    [Admin note: Comment removed for spreading a false conspiracy theory. Please do not troll.]

    1. blueacid says:

      It’s not though. Perhaps go look at non-ionising radiation, transmit power levels, and then review your stance. It’s laughable seeing how wrong people are.

    2. 125us says:

      Please delete these lies.

    3. Michael V says:

      @Mark…. LoL. Hilarious! If the 3.4GHz band that 5G is currently using is bad, then the 5.0ghz band your WiFi hub uses is even worse!
      That’s the only frequency the four operators have have right now!
      It’s perfectly safe.

  13. Alex C says:

    [Admin note: Comment removed for spreading a false conspiracy theory. Please do not troll.]

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