UK's first 5G network to be launched in 6 cities by EE

22 May 2019

Marc Allera at EE 5G launch event 2019_580x280
Marc Allera at EE 5G launch event 2019_580x280

EE has announced the launch of the UK's first commercial 5G service, with new 5G plans, a range of new 5G smartphones & devices, and 5G available from 30th May, starting in 6 cities: London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh & Belfast.

Consumers and businesses can now pre-order the new devices, including smartphones from Samsung, OnePlus, LG, and Oppo (but not Huawei, as EE announced it won't be selling the next generation of Huawei smartphones until it has clarification on the situation with Android, which could leave customers without security updates, following news that Google has revoked Huawei's access to Android updates, in accordance with White House sanctions). EE is also announcing a 5GEE WiFi and 5GEE home broadband with pricing and availability to follow.

The new 5G Smart plans will give customers access to the UK’s first 5G commercially available network, BT Sport HD HDR, and an exclusive Gamer’s Data Pass with zero-rated data, as well as the chance to upgrade anytime, and get a device warranty for the duration of their contract.

EE’s 5G network will be switched on in the six launch cities on Thursday 30th May - a month ahead of Vodafone, which will launch its 5G network on July 3rd.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division, said: “This is the start of the UK’s 5G journey and great news for our customers that want and need the best connections. We’ve started with 5G in some of the busiest parts of the UK, the widest range of 5G devices in the UK, and plans that give customers the best mobile connection and great benefits.

“We’re adding 5G to the UK’s number one 4G network to increase reliability, increase speeds, and keep our customers connected where they need it most. 5G will create new experiences with augmented reality, make our customers’ lives easier, and help launch entirely new businesses that we haven’t even imagined. We’re upgrading more than 100 sites to 5G every month from today to connect more places to what 5G can enable.

“Our partnerships with Google and Niantic are just the start of our commitment to work with the most innovative and exciting companies in the world to ensure that EE customers are the first to benefit from the exciting new experiences that 5G will bring.”

The UK’s first 5G network
EE is launching 5G in the busiest parts of the UK, where 5G can really make a difference by providing a more reliable data connection for businesses and consumers. EE expects customers to experience an increase in speeds of around 100-150Mbps, even in the busiest areas. Some customers will even break the one gigabit-per-second milestone on their 5G smartphones. The fastest speed possible when EE launched 4G in 2012 was just 50Mbps.

In addition to the six launch cities, in 2019 EE will also be introducing 5G across the busiest parts of Bristol, Coventry, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield. And in 2020, even more towns and cities will get 5G sites, including: Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Worcester and Wolverhampton.

This initial ‘non-standalone’ 5G network is built on top of EE’s award winning 4G network – customers will connect to both 4G and 5G at the same time to get the best possible experience, even in the most crowded areas.

As well as upgrading more than 100 sites to 5G every month, EE is expanding 4G coverage into rural areas, and adding more capacity to 4G sites by turning 3G signal into 4G to enable more spectrum for a better network experience wherever EE customers go.

EE 5G speed test in East London_landscape_580x280
EE 5G speed test in East London_landscape_580x280

This is Phase 1 of EE’s 5G rollout: a ‘non-standalone’ deployment focused on using the combined power of 4G and 5G to give customers the fastest, most reliable mobile broadband experience they’ve ever had.

Phase 2, from 2022, will introduce the full next generation 5G core network, enhanced device chipset capabilities, and increased availability of 5G-ready spectrum. Higher bandwidth and lower latency, coupled with expansive and growing 5G coverage, will enable a more responsive network, enabling truly immersive mobile augmented reality, real-time health monitoring and mobile cloud gaming. Phase 2 is also a vital step on our journey to the convergence of our network technologies, as we bring together fixed, mobile and WiFi into one seamless customer experience.

Phase 3, from 2023, will introduce Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), Network Slicing and multi-gigabit-per-second speeds. This phase of 5G will enable critical applications, like real-time traffic management of fleets of autonomous vehicles, massive sensor networks with millions of devices measuring air quality across the entire country, and the ‘tactile internet’, where a sense of touch can be added to remote real-time interactions.

Cutting-edge partnerships
EE is also announcing new partnerships with some of the world’s most innovative companies that will help develop new 5G experiences.

•    Google for Startups Campus Powered by EE 5G: Today we’re pleased to announce we are working with EE to bring 5G to Google for Startups Campus in London. We’re incredibly excited to give developers and the Campus community an environment to experience the power of 5G first hand and to develop the next generation of transformative apps and experiences.

•    Experience Harry Potter: Wizards Unite with EE: EE is also announcing that it is partnering with Niantic to be the exclusive telecom launch partner in the UK for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Co-published and co-developed by WB Games San Francisco and Niantic, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is an upcoming augmented reality (AR) real-world mobile title under the Portkey Games label. As part of the partnership, EE customers will have the chance to experience exclusive Harry Potter: Wizards Unite content. EE locations will appear in the game as sponsored Inns and Fortresses with higher reward payout and special quests that will be announced at launch. EE and Niantic will also be working together to ensure the best in-game experiences on 5G in the future.

EE 5G Smart Sim Only & Handset plans
EE is launching a new range of 5G plans, providing UK consumers the ability to make the most from their 5G experience with great benefits, value and access to the latest mobile technology.

EE customers can pre-order a cutting-edge 5G smartphone on EE’s new 5G Smart Plans from 10GB (£54 per month) and extend up to 120GB (£74 per month).EE has launched plans with Swappable Benefits for both 4G and 5G customers, including access to the HD HDR version of the BT Sport App and a new Gamer's Data Pass.

All 5G customers will get two Swappables from a choice of five – including the BT Sport App HD HDR access for the best possible video quality, Gamer’s Data Pass, Music Data Pass, EE Video Data Pass, and Roam Further Pass – which they can swap in or out anytime they want. Customers taking the 120GB plan will get three Swappables, worth up to £33.99 per month.

EE 5G customers can upgrade their smartphone any time, with EE Upgrade Anytime as standard.

EE 5G customers will also be able to access EE Service packs, helping them to keep their 5G smart phone in tip-top condition for no extra cost.

EE 5G cities_580x280
EE 5G cities_580x280

Alongside EE smartphone plans, EE is also rolling out the UK’s first 5G SIM only plans, offering Swappable benefits, inclusive Service Pack benefits, and a range of great 5G data allowances starting at 20GB per month (£32 per month) and rising to 100GB (£52 per month).

All the latest 5G devices
EE is partnering with some of the world’s leading manufacturers to offer the UK’s largest range of 5G smartphones. Available across a range of different price points, EE is offering the latest cutting-edge smartphones including Samsung (Galaxy S10 5G) as well as UK exclusives with Oppo (Reno 5G), LG (V50 ThinQ) and One Plus (7 Pro 5G) – providing consumers with unique access to the world of 5G.

5GEE Home & 5GEE WiFi
EE is launching the UK’s first 5G home broadband, providing customers unparalleled choice in home connectivity without the need for an engineer installation. Faster than superfast fibre, EE’s 5G home broadband service will offer consistently reliable speeds – perfect for gaming, streaming, video calling, and downloading in 4K.

5GEE home broadband will launch in June, and plans will be revealed soon.

And for those who want the best broadband connectivity on the go, EE is launching 5GEE WiFi with the HTC 5G Hub, which will be available with an upfront cost of £100 and with 50GB of data per month for £50 per month, or for £75 per month with 100GB of data per month.

EE Small & Medium Business plans
SMEs and larger businesses can pre-order the widest range of 5G smartphones available in the UK, including devices from Samsung, OnePlus, LG and Oppo. A variety of 5G business mobile plans are available, including SIM only and mobile sharer deals. Business users will benefit from access to the UK’s first 5G network and a range of value-added features such as business-grade mobile security, flexible data options, unlimited calls and texts and swappable benefits.

And with ‘Data Reserve’, SMEs needn’t worry about being caught out if they reach the limit of their data allowance. Business users will continue to connect but at a slower speed, so they can still send that all-important email or respond to a WhatsApp message. To return to 5G speeds, SMEs can opt to buy a data pass.

Business-grade mobile security from Mobile Iron is included as standard across both handset and SIM only plans to protect against device, network and app attacks, together with unlimited calls and texts and a range of swappable benefits. These include the ability for SMEs to double their data to a massive 200GB, as well as international roaming and calling options.

The Business Connect 5G mobile sharer plan is ideal for larger SMEs who want a simple and secure way to manage all employee mobiles and tablets across one shared plan. All employees get unlimited minutes and texts and a data allowance of between 1GB and 950GB to share across mobile, tablets and SIMs. Award-winning Mobile Iron Cloud and Mobile Iron Threat defence is built in, so if a device gets lost or stolen, employees can locate, lock, or even wipe it remotely – protecting business and customer data, while their devices stay protected from malware and other threats.

For more information on EE’s 5G network, 5G Smart plans and 5G devices, customers can visit

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