5G goes live in the UK: EE beats rivals to launch


EE has pipped its rivals to launch the first 5G network in the UK, offering ultra high speed internet connection in London, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham from today.


The network promises faster speeds and more reliable connectivity than existing 3G and 4G networks.

Customers will experience an uplift in speed of around 100-150Mbps, from an average of 30Mbps on 4G today. Some customers will even break the one gigabit-per-second milestone on their 5G smartphones , according to EE.

London, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester will be the first to benefit from 5G super-fast mobile speeds from EE

In practical terms, this will allow customers to download a full season of a TV show in minutes, stream graphics-rich games with virtually no lag, and carry out real-time 4K video calls.

While this very exciting news, sadly you can currently only access the network on four smartphones.

However, now that the 5G network has launched, its likely that tech firms will launch new 5G-compatible phones soon.

Smartphones you can access the 5G network on now:

  • Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

  • One Plus 7 Pro 5G

  • Oppo Reno 5G

  • LG V50 ThinQ

While Huawei also recently launched a 5G-enabled smartphone, EE said the launch for these devices is ‘on pause’ until we have more information about the Android ban.

Vodafone will also launch its 5G network on July 3, giving access on an additional phone - the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G.

"No reason to rush"

Alex Tofts, Broadband Expert at Broadband Genie, commented on the launch: "The rollout of 5G is a welcome step forward, however there's no reason for most people to rush out and upgrade to a 5G device just yet. Coverage will remain limited for some time, and the cost of being an early adopter is high. Once more networks deploy 5G and coverage improves, the cost will fall as competition rises.

"But while the potential of 5G is exciting we can't forget that UK network operators still have an obligation to provide 4G signal to 95% of the UK by 2022. 5G has a lot of promise but the operators should not lose focus on ensuring that coverage for existing technology continues to improve, especially in rural locations where mobile broadband can be used to plug the gaps in fixed line broadband access."

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