EE confirms commercial 5G roll-out for 16 United Kingdom cities in 2019

Doris Richards
November 15, 2018

A 5G trial site in near St Paul's Cathedral in London.

BT-OWNED EE will launch 5G services in 16 cities in the United Kingdom next year, touting it as a "premium" offering for customers in the busiest parts of the country.

As well as the six launch cities, through 2019 EE will also be introducing 5G across the busiest parts of ten more United Kingdom cities including Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol.

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.

This new technology will not only allow customers to download files and content much faster but also give more people better access at one time. It could also pave the way for new services such as real-time virtual or augmented reality, autonomous driving, or a significant expansion of Internet of Things (IoT) usage.

For its rollout of next-generation network, EE is focusing on areas of cities where the most network congestion takes place. While this is undoubtedly good news for United Kingdom consumers, ZDNet explains that we should not get too excited yet: "The first 1,500 sites that EE is upgrading to 5G amount to around 7% of its total sites, and cover 15% of the United Kingdom population". The carrier is now testing 5G in Canary Wharf and other parts of east London.


EE said its 5G rollout is determined by the number of business and consumer customers in its busiest sites.

"We've picked these sites where our customers are demanding the most from them", said Allera. 5G is built on top of EE's award winning 4G network - customers' 5G experience will be dictated by the quality of both 4G and 5G, as well as the underlying fixed network.

"We all know 5G will not replace 4G and that's the big difference we see with the launch of 4G, which really was a replacement".

Kicking off the network rollout is obviously a big step towards making 5G a reality, but there are still lots of unanswered questions.

And EE says it will be switching on 5G in another 10 cities - including Glasgow - at a later point in 2019.

EE will launch with multiple smartphone partners, as well as an EE 5G Home router with external antenna. Earlier this year, Vodafone turned to 5G in Greater Manchester and will reportedly expand the coverage to six more cities in the coming months.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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