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EE UK Launch First Own Brand 5G WiFi Mobile Broadband Router

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020 (10:21 am) - Score 16,224
EE_5GEE_mobile_broadband_router_uk

Mobile operator EE (BT) has today launched its first “own brand5GEE Wi-Fi based mobile broadband router, which they rather boldly claim can offer “customers 5G speeds as fast as fibre in more places than any other operator.” Admittedly, they don’t seem to be comparing this to gigabit speeds on FTTP.

The new device supports the latest WiFi 6 (802.11ax) standard, can support up to 64 WiFi-enabled devices (over a 30 metre range) and apparently offers “broadband speeds as fast as fibre with average download speeds of 150 Mb/s” (true fibre via FTTP can do 1Gbps or faster, which is currently much harder to achieve via 5G due to limited spectrum and variable signal quality).

NOTE: EE’s 5G network is currently available in parts of 112 UK towns and cities.

The new 5GEE router also includes one Gigabit LAN (Ethernet) port on the back and a USB-C port (we think this is for power). On top of that it comes with a built-in 6460mAh battery for portability, weighs 195g and is sized 128 x 100 x 17.9mm. The kit is built off a Cortax A7 CPU (1.5GHz) and comes with 512MB of internal memory.

Sadly, it does not appear to have any ports for connecting an external antenna, but we are checking that.

Alistair Wilson, EE’s Director of Devices and Partnerships, said:

“EE offers customers the UK’s fastest 5G service in more places, and we’re continually looking for ways to help provide them with new ways to get access to the best superfast internet connectivity on the go. Whether it’s for streaming new movies on a laptop or using the latest augmented reality services with a headset, when paired with our new 5GEE WiFi mobile broadband device, customers will be able to enjoy the incredible speeds offered by the UK’s number one 5G network.”

According to the press release, this router can be purchased with 50GB of data from £45 a month on a 24-month plan, with 100GB of data for £67.50 per month, or with and 200GB of data for £90 per month. However, when we checked their website, we couldn’t see a 50GB option, while the 100GB and 200GB plans were priced at £75 and £100 per month respectively.

At that price you’d be better off just buying their regular “unlimited data” mobile plan for a lot less money and just using your Smartphone as a WiFi hotspot. Alternatively, you could pick-up their 5G Home Router + Antenna deal with 1TB of data for £70 per month, albeit with a one-off charge of £100 for the hardware (see mobile broadband deals).

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19 Responses
  1. Avatar James White says:

    Looks very similar to the original 4GEE Home Router, I assume made by Alcatel still. I had fun exploiting the 4GEE Home Router (not the version 2) but honestly for the money, going SIM only and bringing your own modem/router comobo is going to be cheaper longer term, if you can pay the upfront cost for the hardware that is.

    1. Avatar Anonymous says:

      Quanta

  2. Avatar Gareth says:

    I’ve never understood this “Mobile Broadband” pricing. EE frequently offer 100GB for £20 from a Smartphone which includes tethering, yet will charge you £67.50 per month for the same 100GB of data but through a modem.

    100GB through a modem surely is the same as 100GB through a smartphone? Yes, you may be more likely to use 100GB through a modem, but surely the point is, they are both 100GB???

    1. Avatar Matt says:

      Correct.

      The pricing is a rip off. Plus, due to some Ofcom ruling a few years back, you can use a phone sim in any device. I.e get a much cheaper phone sim and stick it in a wireless modem.

    2. Avatar Connor says:

      Yes this is just standard EE price gouging. At least Three doesn’t put you behind a NAT on the broadband plans.

    3. Avatar Jim says:

      Seems they don’t want people using unlimited for home use, unfortunately there isn’t much choice for alternative 5G routers, the Huawei CPE Pro 2 has reliability issues.

    4. Avatar Joseph says:

      Incorrect. Mobile hotspotting is not designed to process multiple packages. Routers are and have a more stable connection. Mobiles aren’t just tethering data it has to provide notifications, the CPU is inundated, your battery is causing the mobile to overheat which slows the computing power of your handset.

    5. Avatar Jim says:

      You can use a VPN to avoid the NAT issue.

  3. Avatar You are wrong says:

    The Huawei CPE Pro 2 didn’t have any issues when I was using it, the only issue was ee restricting the NAT type preventing online gaming, funny enough vodafone promote their 5g gigacube for gaming online and is also strict Nat type.

    1. Avatar How many G says:

      Hi @You are wrong

      Which Huawei CPE do you recommend? Will all these work on UK networks? (IE: Futureproof if we get additional 5G frequency bands added like 700Mhz?)

      5G CPE PRO-1 H112-370 WiFi-6
      5G CPE PRO-1 H112-372
      5G CPE PRO-2 H122-373

    2. Avatar Jim says:

      Some people reported frequent disconnections but it could have been their setup, just a bit concerning when shelling out nearly £400 for a router.

      @How many G

      “Supported 5G frequency bands: n1/n3/n5/n7/n28/n38/n40/n41/n77/n78/n79. Actual supported frequency bands may vary slightly in different regions due to certification.”

      I suspect you’d want the version that’s for Europe for maximum compatibility.

  4. Avatar Mr Man says:

    My friend sent me a screenshot talking about a “5G router” a week ago, he works at BT. Apparently he got like a trial of it before it came out.

  5. Avatar James says:

    I think the Huawei 5G CPE Win H312-371 would be worth looking at. POE and you can use it inside or out. It has got some good reviews though I haven’t tried it myself. Otherwise Huawei H122-373.

  6. Avatar Marc says:

    Vodafone done it years 5g gigacube

    1. Avatar JitteryPinger says:

      Vodafone’s Gigacube is just a Huawei 5G router…. it’s not Vodafone’s own branded kit.

  7. Avatar EssexBoy says:

    If your after a Portable 5g WiFi Router I would highly recommend the Huawei E6878-870 or E6878-370 (later is the same but Power Bank as well), I’ve been using and testing the 870 for a around 6 months now and it’s an excellent bit of mobile kit and out performs the two Huawei H112-370 Home Routers I have and Tested.

    On EE I don’t have 5g Coverage where I live but get reasonable 4G+ on the 112-370 Home Router, if I plug in a Huawei External 5G Aerial (AF9E) I can pull in a good 5g Signal from around 6 miles away, interestingly if I place the Huawei 870 Mobile WiFi in the same place as the AF9E Aerial, I can pull in the same 5G Signal, maybe a few dBm more, and better speed on 5g overall.

    Down side of the of the 870 is there is no RJ45 Ethernet output and is either 2.4ghz or 5ghz WiFi out but not both together, but hey it’s a portable device.

  8. Avatar Henri says:

    I had the Huawei 5G CPE Pro 2 on Three’s network and I would get disconnections constantly throughout the evenings as the router would randomly decide to band steer from 1+3 to 3+20 and sometimes even switch from 5G to 4G+.

    I tried a ZTE MC 801 and apart from the poor web management – this router doesn’t band steer whilst connected. I’m very happy with it and Three’s unlimited data plan as I get 530 Mbps down and 50 Mbps up. But my ping varies considerably from 18-30ms unloaded and 100-1000ms loaded making it useless for online gaming but I will probably add another router which supports adaptive QoS to hopefully resolve the lag spikes. On the Huawei I’d get 12ms without increases but the constant disconnections every 2-3 hours made it unusable.

    The solution for those on EE was to use the IPv4 APN which I’ve already done previously – it seems like Three purposefully disconnect the router from one band to traffic manage across their multiple bands at the site. Luckily ZTE has never changed bands midway whilst being connected.

  9. Avatar Meadmodj says:

    This is not being positioned by EE as a 5G Home Router. They are still promoting the Huawei unit.

    It appears to be similar to the Alcatel 5G Mobile Hotspot which sits between a pocket 5G MIFI and a 5G CPE router. It therefore fills a marketing gap for EE and will suite many that simply require personal alternative broadband. I see no reason why with the addition of a simple network this would not meet broadband needs especially if the removal of the white disc does reveal an antenna connection.

    Charging over £1000 for the device is of course excessive but 5G is still in its infancy, chip costs and availability/cost will come down. The monthly charge is obviously to temper behaviour.

    The more devices like this that are introduced the quicker 5G will become an affordable option.

  10. Avatar Gamer1 says:

    When would switching to a 5G SIM / Router be worthwhile compared to 4G?

    I am moving to a semi rural location soon where FTTC is dog slow due to being at the end of a cable run andI have been told 4G and decent router like a Nighthawk would be an option (good 4G coverage according to the map) however the ping on 4G for gaming doesn’t fill me with confidence so im torn between a 4G + router and slow FTTC but with decent ping. 5G obviously would help with the ping issue but what are these NAT problems and would gaming be viable on a 5G plan? (plus based on 5G coverage would it basically be 4G anyway)

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