EE wins the race to become the first 5G UK operator ahead of May 30 rollout

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Six cities across the UK will see 5G switched on, with EE announcing more cities by 2020

EE has officially confirmed that it will switch on its 5G network on May 30 to become the UK’s first 5G operator.

The network will initially launch in six cities, including London, Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester.

EE also revealed its 5G handset range, with a notable exception being the Huawei Mate X, with the operator deciding not to push Huawei 5G smartphones until clarification on its position with Android.

More than 100 new 5G sites per month are being added by the operator which will provide 5G to a number of cities across the country.

A further 10 towns and cities has also been announced as initial 5G locations next year including; Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Worcester and Wolverhampton.

Commenting on the launch BT consumer division CEO Marc Allera said: “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.”

Allera confirmed during the press conference in St Paul’s that EE will still continue to develop the 4G network.

Three stage strategy

EE’s 5G strategy has been split into three phases, with the first phase beginning this year focusing on combining the strength of 4G and 5G to provide customers with the fastest speeds possible.

The second phase begins in 2022 and introduces the full next generation 5G core network that will see more enhanced chipsets and increased availability of 5G spectrum.

EE says the second phase is a crucial step towards establishing a fully converged network of fixed, mobile and WiFi broadband.

The final stage is planned to begin in 2023 and sees the introduction of Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), network slicing and multi-gigabit-per-second-speeds. This phase is expected to drive the autonomous industry.

Plans

EE also confirmed it is launching a new range of 5G plans, with plans starting from £54 per month for 10GB of data up to £74 per month for 120GB of data.

There has also been ‘Swappable’ plans introduced for 4G and 5G customers, including access to the HD HDR version of the BT Sport app (worth £15 per month).

All 5G customers are entitled to two Swappables from a choice of five – including BT Sport HD HDR access, the new Gamer’s Data Pass, Music Data Pass, EE Video Data Pass, Roam Further Pass.

Any customers that choose to take out the 120GB plan are entitled to three Swappables, worth up to £33.99 per month.

According to EE, its 5G customers can upgrade their smartphone at any time with EE Upgrade Anytime as standard.

The 5G smartphones available for customers to pre-order include the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Oppo Reno 5G, LG V50 and the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G.

EE has also confirmed a number of small and medium business plans are available for pre-order for EE’s 5G smartphone range.

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