EE will be the first mobile network operator to launch 5G network services in the UK

EE has confirmed that it will become the first mobile network operator to launch commercial 5G services in the UK, when it switches on its 5G networks on the 30th May 2019.

EE will launch in 6 cities, with 10 more to be added before the end of the year.

Speaking at a press conference in London on Wednesday, EE’s CEO, Marc Allera, said that initially EE’s networks would offer customers speeds in excess of 150Mbps and would quickly scale up from there.

“Launching 5G is going to provide a [download speed] uplift of around 150Mbps and often far more than that.It’s going to be a premium experience, it will be like having a lane to yourself on the motorway. We are also very confident that in 2019 there will be customers on EE who break the gigabit barrier on a smartphone. When you think back to when we launched 4G, we were talking aboutoffering people speeds of around 12-15Mbps” he said.

Allera said that EE’s 5G launch on May 30th was only the first step in his company’s plan to transform connectivity in the UK.

EE will leverage its comprehensive 4G networks in the UK, using them as a firm base from which to launch its next generation network services. From 2019-2022, EE will concentrate on phase one of its 5G rollout programme, which will see the company rack up 1,500 5G sites across the country by the end of 2019, while simultaneously investing in strengthening its existing 4G networks.

EE will launch stand-alone 5G, complete with an independent 5G core, in 2022, beginning phase two of its rollout. This phase of the rollout will see heightened convergence between BT’s fixed, mobile and WiFi networks.

Phase three of the rollout will commence in 2023, bringing network slicing options to the table, opening up a whole new of lucrative use cases for the consumer and enterprise sectors.

Allera said that the launch of 5G would have a profound impact on the way people live their lives in the UK. He said that it was crucial that UK businesses became early adopters of 5G, to drive the evolution of business models and inject new vitality into UK commerce.

“People will inevitably ask why do I need 5G? But they asked that about 4G… and look at how much has changed in terms of how people live their lives; how they talk to their friends, how they watch TV, how they do business, how they bank, shop, order food and play video games.  The launch of 4G sparked a huge shift in the way we do business and the services we all use. Uber, Deliveroo, Netflix, YouTube, Instagram – none of these companies would exist or do business in the same way they do today, without a fast, reliable mobile connection,” said Allera.