EE to enable sixteen 5G sites next year

Blimey. We’ve got to keep up with this one. It only seems a few minutes since EE announced that nine 5G sites, but in 2019 they’re hoping to have coverage in the busiest parts of 16 cities.

London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and Belfast will be in “phase one”, with hotspots like Manchester Airport and the Bullring in Birmingham. Meanwhile, in London, Hyde Park will get 5G too

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, stated..

I want London to be the world’s leading smart city and 5G expansion is at the heart of this ambition – it is good news for Londoners, innovation, and business. At City Hall we are working hard right across the capital to ensure we have the network infrastructure needed through our new Connected London programme. EE’s ambitious investment in 5G sites demonstrates that our city is a great place to invest in innovative and future-facing digital connectivity.

Edinburgh Waverley train station, Belfast City Airport and The Welsh Assembly will also be included as EE starts introducing 5G Smartphones alongside a 5G Home router for 5G broadband.

Throughout 2019 EE will also be introducing 5G across the busiest parts of Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol. Plus if you’re a geek like me, you’ll be interested in knowing that the BT Technology team are going to be virtualizing the core network, in line with global 5G standards, on a cloud native infrastructure. This means that the back-end network will be smart and fully converged with a BT 21CN Petabit-class backbone. The transmission network will have 10Gbps links at each 5G site, and EE have already tested these new links – the fastest in use anywhere in the UK.

(It’ll be very quick, put it that way)

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division, told us..

Adding 5G to the UK’s number one 4G network will increase reliability, increase speeds, and keep our customers connected where they need it most. This is another milestone for the UK and for our network journey – we’ll keep evolving as we move to one, smart network for our customers. We have an ambition to connect our customers to 4G, 5G or WiFi 100% of the time.

The roll-out phasing is based on the areas that are in most need of high-capacity and high-speed internet. As an example, in the last three months, more than 2.1 million individual customers connected around Waterloo station. The first 1,500 5G sites will be carrying 25% of all data across the whole network.

Meanwhile, they’ve not forgotten about 4G, and there’s still 4G upgrades happening, with 3G signal being switched up to 4G to enable more spectrum for a better network experience. EE is also expanding 4G coverage into rural parts of the UK as we’ve seen before.

Now all we need is the 5G smartphones!