EE will switch on 5G sites in 16 UK cities in 2019 alongside multiple smartphone partners, while introducing a 5G Home router with external antenna.
The first launch cities will be London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham, and Manchester. These six initial launch cities will get 5G in their busiest parts – including London’s Hyde Park, Manchester Arena, Belfast City Airport, Cardiff’s Welsh Assembly, Edinburgh Waverly train station, and Birmingham’s Bullring.
Following the launch in the initial cities, BT-owned EE will bring 5G to the busiest parts of Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry, and Bristol through 2019.
According to EE, the first 1,500 sites that it is upgrading to 5G in 2019 carry 25 per cent of all data across its whole network, yet only cover 15 per cent of the population.
“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,” said Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer division. “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 wi-fi 100 per cent of the time.”
Last week, EE setup 5G trial sites in locations across East London. It's inviting businesses and consumers in the areas to take part in the the trial, where EE is using 5G as an alternative to fixed broadband.