EE Launching its 5G Network Next Week, Making It the First in the UK to Do So

By Shabana Arif on at

EE has confirmed a roll-out date for its 5G service which is coming to London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester on May 30. The service provider will quickly be following up with more than 100 new 5G sites every month. Bristol, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow will be the next 10 locations to get 5G, with 10 additional towns and cities announced for 2020 including Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Worcester and Wolverhampton.

"This is the start of the UK’s 5G journey and great news for our customers that want and need the best connections. We’ve started with 5G in some of the busiest parts of the UK, the widest range of 5G devices in the UK, and plans that give customers the best mobile connection and great benefits," said Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer division.

"We’re adding 5G to the UK’s number one 4G network to increase reliability, increase speeds, and keep our customers connected where they need it most. 5G will create new experiences with augmented reality, make our customers’ lives easier, and help launch entirely new businesses that we haven’t even imagined. We’re upgrading more than 100 sites to 5G every month from today to connect more places to what 5G can enable."

You can pre-order a 5G device from EE's current range of four smartphones; the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, LG V50 ThinQ, Oppo Reno 5G. Its new 5G Smart Plans start from 10GB (£54 per month) and extend up to 120GB (£74 per month). Both 4G and 5G plans will now feature Swappable Benefits - including access to the HD HDR version of the BT Sport App for 5G customers. They'll also get to pick two Swappables from a choice of five (Gamer’s Data Pass, Music Data Pass, EE Video Data Pass, and Roam Further Pass, and BT Sport App), while 5G customers on the 120GB plan will get three.

EE is the first to go live with a 5G service, pipping Vodafone to the post, with the latter's 5G service going live in July.  O2's "four corners of the UK" 5G plan still doesn't have a confirmed date.

This is just the first step for EE, which has a three phase plan for its 5G roll-out. Phase two "will introduce the full next generation 5G core network, enhanced device chipset capabilities, and increased availability of 5G-ready spectrum," in 2022, with "Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), Network Slicing and multi-gigabit-per-second speeds" following in 2023.