Throughout the rest of 2019, EE will work on extending its 5G coverage to parts of Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol.
Its focus again will be on the busiest areas of those cities, which makes sense, as these are the areas that will most benefit from faster, more reliable data. The network notes that the first 1,500 sites it’s upgrading to 5G carry 25% of all data across the whole network, despite only covering 15% of the UK population.
Alongside this announcement, EE has said that 5G smartphones from multiple partners will be available on the network. It hasn’t named names, but we know for example that Samsung, Huawei, LG, OnePlus and others are all working on 5G phones.
EE also revealed that it plans to make a 5G Home router available, giving people the option to use 5G broadband in their home.
Ahead of all this, EE is upgrading transmission to 10Gbps links at each 5G site, and both EE and BT (which owns EE) are virtualising elements of the core network for the 5G rollout, as well as constructing a next generation 5G core (in line with the next stage of global 5G standards) on a cloud native infrastructure.
Vodafone and Three have also confirmed they will begin 5G services in 2019. Unfortunately no specific launch dates have been provided by any of these companies.