EE: 5G is coming to these 16 cities

EE to roll out 5G in 16 cities next year in 'demand-led' strategy

Mobile network provider EE has announced today that the capital will be one of six cities across the country chosen for the first phase of the launch, which will take place at some point next year. Specifically it is choosing to build 5G connectivity in the busiest areas of these citied first; Hyde Park in London, Manchester Arena, Belfast City Airport, the Welsh Assembly, Edinburgh Waverly train station and Birmingham's Bullring.

The firm will then introduce its 5G network - which is now being tested in two live trials in Canary Wharf and East London's tech hub - to a further 10 cities throughout 2019; Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol, reaching a total of 1,500 sites during the year.

Of course, none of that will matter if your phone doesn't support the newer 5G standards, so EE is partnering with multiple (currently unspecified) smartphone manufacturers for the initial rollout. For example, in the last three months alone, more than 2.1 million individual customers connected around Waterloo station, with just one site at the station carrying more than 100 terabytes of data per day.

EE rival Vodafone said in September it would have 1,000 5G-enabled network sites in Britain by 2020 capable of delivering blisteringly fast speeds and near-instant response times. This is another milestone for the United Kingdom and for our network journey - we'll keep evolving as we move to one, smart network for our customers.

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BT's 21CN backbone network is also said to be Petabit-class, which is important because the new connections will be much more data hungry than before. This will help 5G make the biggest difference - even with the biggest crowds often witnessed at these locations.

"The 5G rollout from EE shows the recognition of Greater Manchester as the UK's leading digital city region". Each 5G site is being upgraded to a 10Gbps link, which has already been tested successfully in trial sites across East London and Canary Wharf.

"The first 1,500 sites that EE is upgrading to 5G in 2019 carry 25 per cent of all data across the whole network, but only cover 15 per cent of the United Kingdom population", the operator explained.

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