UK’s first 5G service to launched in May by EE

EE will activate its 5G service in six cities in the United Kingdom on May 30, the first mobile network in the United Kingdom to do so.

People in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester will be the first to receive the fastest services with plans for 10 more cities to be added this year.

Prices for 5G – which will require new terminals – will start at £ 54 per month for 10 gigabytes of data.

EE confirmed that its range of 5G phones would not include Huawei.

“We are pausing the launch of the new Huawei 5G smartphones that hit the market,” said a spokesman, adding that EE is working with both the Chinese firm and Google to “ensure that we can carry out the correct level of testing.” and quality control. “for customers.

There follows a decision by Google to prevent the smartphone manufacturer from making some updates to the Android operating system.

“This is the beginning of the 5G trip in the UK and excellent news for our customers who want and need the best connections,” said Marc Allera, executive director of BT’s consumer division, which owns the US.

It is admitted that this is only the first phase of its start-up, the “full of next generation 5G” not available until the year 2022.

Rival Vodafone plans to launch its 5G service in July. He has also removed the Mate 20X with capacity for Huawei’s 5G, from his phone line.

Retail Carphone Warehouse has also said that it will not allow customers to pre-order 5G Huawei phones.

Several other countries have announced 5G services, including South Korea and the United States.

Kester Mann, an analyst with research firm CCS Insight, said: “By getting 5G next week, the UK will have completed a remarkable change from lagging leader to leader.”

“Being the first on the market with 5G is unimportant for consumers, but it is clearly an important honor for BT.”

EE promised three major improvements for customers who exchange 4G to 5G:

greater capacity, which facilitates the service in crowded places such as train stations and stadiums
The average speeds will increase to 150 Mbps (megabits per second) compared to a maximum speed of 50 Mbps when 4G was launched. Some customers will get speeds of up to one gigabit, with improvements for all over time
low latency – of particular benefit for online games and new services such as those that use augmented reality
The mobile operator has also signed an exclusive agreement with Niantic, the creators of Pokemon Go, to carry out its augmented reality game Harry Potter: Wizards United when it launches in the UK in the summer.

Matthew Howett, a mobile analyst at the Assembly research firm, said: “To convince consumers to take the leap from 4G to 5G, it is important to communicate that it is about more than speed.

“While the maximum download speeds will be faster, crucially, there will be more capacity, which will allow a whole series of new applications and services.”

The role of huawei

Concerns have been raised about the role played by the Chinese firm Huawei, which supplies network equipment to mobile operators in the UK for its 5G launch, following the US decision. UU To stop your ability to do business in the United States.

Mr. Allera told the BBC that EE currently uses Huawei’s equipment, although it is in the process of removing it from the core of its 4G network.

The core is where the most confidential functions occur, including device authentication, voice and data routing and billing.

However, EE intends to use Huawei within its radio access network (Ran), which allows users to send data to and from the core.

“There is no current government guideline suggesting that we should not use Huawei, but if the guide changes, we will reconsider it, which will be detrimental, but there are other people who provide equipment,” he said.

But Mr. Howett believes that the Huawei ban could be problematic, not only for EE but for all operators in the UK, because it is an important part of their networks.

“There is little interoperability between providers, which means that it is difficult to implement non-Huawei 5G equipment together with existing Huawei 4G equipment.

“A ban would require operators to replace such equipment before they can implement 5G technology,” he said.

EE plans to add 100 new 5G sites each month.

That will gradually bring coverage to:

  • Bristol board
  • Coventry
  • Leicester
  • Nottingham
  • Sheffield
  • Liverpool
  • Shell
  • Leeds
  • Newcastle

Ten more towns and cities will get services by 2020, including Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth and Portsmouth.

The available phones will include Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, 7 Pro 5G from OnePlus and Reno 5G from Oppo.