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EE Extend 5G Mobile Broadband Cover to 14 New UK Areas

Wednesday, Sep 7th, 2022 (9:29 am) - Score 11,600
EE-UK-5G-Mobile-Signal-on-the-Beach

Mobile operator EE (BT) has today announced the next phase of its effort to rollout their ultrafast 5G based network across the United Kingdom, which among other changes, will extend its network across 14 further towns and cities. Interestingly, they’re also deploying the existing 2100MHz band for 5G in 14 different locations.

At present, EE’s 5G network already covers over 50% of the UK population (here), although until now this has mostly been done by harnessing mobile bands in the 3.4-4GHz and 700MHz range. But the operator’s plan to retire older 3G network services by the end of 2023 – currently representing just 2% of data traffic over their network – will free up more spectrum for 5G.

One such popular band is 2100MHz, where the operator already holds a 20MHz slice of spectrum frequency between 2149.7MHz to 2169.7MHz, which can now be re-farmed for use by 5G based mobile broadband connectivity. EE will also gain the ability to combine this band with their existing spectrum holdings (e.g. carrier aggregation), which could further boost data speeds and coverage.

The announcement states that 14 existing 5G deployment locations have been turned on to harness the 2100MHz band. On top of that, the operator has also switched-on 5G in 14 completely new locations today. We’ve listed all of these below.

The First 14 UK Locations Using 2100MHz for 5G

London
Manchester
Liverpool
Bristol
Leeds
Cardiff
Belfast
Newport
Perth
Kilmarnock
Eastbourne
Scunthorpe
Chesterfield
Wellingborough

The 14 New UK 5G Deployment Locations

Bradford
Kidderminster
Peterborough
Bedford
Luton
Southampton
Newport
Dewsbury
Sutton in Ashfield
Newcastle-under-Lyme
Hemel Hempstead
East Kilbride
Bridgend
Carlisle

We should point out that, unlike other operators, EE usually only announces places as being live if they have a minimum population of 10,000 people, within which they must also be delivering 5G coverage to “at least a third of that local population as well as the centre of the location.” By comparison, we’ve seen other operators announce locations despite only having the tiniest of coverage available.

Christian Thrane, MD of EE Consumer Marketing, said:

“To provide customers with the best smartphone experience, we are continually upgrading and expanding our 5G network. By increasing capacity, our customers will get faster speeds and an even more reliable experience. When combined with the enhanced benefits and services our great new pay monthly packages offer – then for those planning to get a new 5G smartphone, the message is simple: there’s only one UK network that offers the best smartphone experience.”

The announcement is extremely welcome news, particularly since most mobile operators tend to become somewhat coy with such details once the rollout of a new network technology has been going for a couple of years or more.

On the other hand, EE has not said how much of a coverage impact today’s announcement will have – either in terms of 5G population or geographic coverage, but their aim is still to provide a 5G “signal to over 90% of UK landmass” by 2028 (here).

The operator actually said they’d reach “across the entire UK” by 2028, but this is still open to debate, as the talk is still of tackling that final 10% with some as yet largely undefined on-demand solutions. But we suspect that LEO based satellites, which can transmit mobile signals directly to regular Smartphones, may well form part of this.

Finally, Vodafone, Three UK and O2 (VMO2) have similar plans for re-farming their own 3G spectrum to be used by 5G.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
14 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Anuraj says:

    Interesting. EE using 2100mhz for 5g. Hopefully speed better.
    EE need to improve their voice calls quality.

    Only reason left EE for their voice calls quality. 4g and 5g speed very good.

  2. Avatar photo GGGGG says:

    Not sure 2 maybe 3 cell sites in the City Centre of Southampton counts as 5G to a 1/3rd of its population… Having been their very recently, its pretty poor and in typical EE style, the 4G is faster…

    1. Avatar photo Sonic says:

      EE is pretty poor in Southampton (Millbrook). My wife could barely get a working signal in her office. She had to switch to a different carrier.

      Vodafone 5G in Southampton is *excellent*. I was getting 400+ Mbps on speed tests.

  3. Avatar photo Kash says:

    Try 3 for 5g I got 1.5Gbps near my home and regularly top 1000Mbps

    Yes you read that correctly

    1. Avatar photo Lee Valdro says:

      I get around 900mb on Three 5g using speedtest in most locations although it’s been as low as 550mb in one area. Still beats the expensive networks

    2. Avatar photo Riley says:

      Karsh I wish I saw that kind of speed. I’ve been testing 5G in my home town for years and I’ve never seen beyond 600mbit. I’m totally certain I was in there the day one turned on and still no gigabit.

      I have to cynically wonder if little towns like mine don’t get the 10G backhaul links that cities get. Or else why would I have never seen over 600 in my town. This was in a time when many didn’t even have 5G phones.

  4. Avatar photo Crazy frog says:

    I uget brilliant 5g signal and full bars on my phone at home, That was 6weeks ago now I just get 4g and if I’m lucky 1 bar .

    #EE #miltonkeynes

  5. Avatar photo Jon says:

    Interesting that Eastbourne was on this list. Recently I have found EE nearly un-usable in and around town. There has even been some times where I purposely bumped down to 4G just as the throughtput was better. Really hope this helps, as I have been tempted with 3 and how well their 5G rollout is going.

  6. Avatar photo Matt says:

    I do love they’ve used a picture of Blackpool which isn’t on their lists and suffers from the worst mobile data coverage. You can have full signal with zero usable data across all networks.

  7. Avatar photo Stephen Honeyman says:

    One area in Scotland, rubbish. Wheres the progress.

    1. Avatar photo Greg says:

      Note the 10,000 people otherwise they don’t announce it.

      Lossiemouth in Scotland has EE 5G. Try it if you don’t believe me!

  8. Avatar photo Wabba says:

    Does EE care at all for non-city dwellers ? Doesn’t look like it

  9. Avatar photo DBM says:

    Bedford isn’t a new town for EE. I’ve tested their 5G here many times since 2020. I can even tell you where they are. There is one MBNL mast in Priory park and one on the industrial estate next to it. And their first 5G mast was next to the hospital in 2019.

  10. Avatar photo Roger says:

    Any info on Three refarming 3G ? Strange things are going on recently on Three, like today my phone keeps switching from 4G to H+ & staying on H+ and resulting in slow to no internet. Im in the town center and about 200 metres from a mast.

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