EE upgrades 5G network across 14 new UK locations

BT-owned MNO extends mid-band next-generation network capability across 14 UK towns and cities to support the latest 5G smartphones and pay monthly mobile plans

Following the mobile network operator’s (MNO) launch of a new range of smartphone plans intended to deliver high-performance connectivity for customers using the latest 5G-enabled handsets, EE has announced the next phase of its 5G roll-out, bringing the technology’s enhanced speeds to 14 more towns and cities across the UK.

The BT-owned operator officially turned on its 5G mobile network – the UK’s first consumer-facing 5G service – in Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London and Manchester in May 2019.

After progressing its 5G switch-on, the roll-out was ramped up in April 2021 when, following the assignment stage of Ofcom’s 5G spectrum auction, EE more than doubled its UK 5G frequency holdings, a move it said set it up to be able to provide customers with the best and most extensive 5G network in the UK.

The company is looking to cash in as UK mobile consumers look to reap the benefit of the nation’s mobile operators’ rush to invest in 5G infrastructure.

According to the latest RootMetrics UK mobile performance review, network providers are delivering “outstanding” 5G reliability with latency low enough for smooth gaming and streaming. The study highlighted how competition between EE, Three UK, Virgin Media O2 and Vodafone was improving the experiences of next-generation network users in the UK, with all four of the major UK mobile operators improving the download speeds, reliability and latency of their networks.

The report showed that EE remained the leader in UK-wide, nationwide and metropolitan testing in the first half of the year. The operator won all seven UK-wide RootScore categories, including the UK Overall RootScore Award for the ninth year in a row.

In May 2022, three years after switching on its next-generation mobile infrastructure, EE’s 5G network became the first to cover 50% of the UK.

The principal part of the operator’s network upgrade plan will see EE roll out 5G 2100MHz spectrum to sites that previously provided 3G signals. The upgrade is designed to offer an enhanced 5G smartphone experience for customers, ensuring that they get improved indoor coverage, as well as more 5G capacity in busy areas.

The upgrades will be taking place in 14 of the UK’s biggest cities, including London, Liverpool Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as Newport, Perth, Kilmarnock, Eastbourne, Scunthorpe, Chesterfield and Wellingborough. EE has also added 14 new towns and cities to its 5G network, namely Bradford, Kidderminster, Peterborough, Bedford, Luton, Southampton, Newport, Dewsbury, Sutton in Ashfield, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Hemel Hempstead, East Kilbride, Bridgend and Carlisle.

“To provide customers with the best smartphone experience, we are continually upgrading and expanding our 5G network,” commented Christian Thrane, managing director of consumer marketing at EE. “By increasing capacity, our customers will get faster speeds and an even more reliable experience.”

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