BT Group Plc's wireless unit EE plans to start fifth-generation wireless services in 16 United Kingdom cities next year as the former monopoly seeks to lure customers with increased reliability and download speeds. EE will also offer a broadband solution with its 5G home router, and has promised to continue developing out its 4G network as well, upgrading existing sites and converting 3G signals into 4G.
BT consumer division CEO Marc Allera said: "Adding 5G to EE's 4G network will increase reliability, increase speeds, and keep our customers connected where they need it most". This is another milestone for the United Kingdom and for our network journey - we'll keep evolving as we move to one, smart network for our customers.
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Connectivity, said: "Commercial rollout of 5G by EE and the other mobile network operators supports our wider ambition of Scotland having an early advantage of this new and emerging technology". One site in Waterloo station alone, we're told, carries more than 100 terabytes of data per day. While this is undoubtedly good news for United Kingdom consumers, ZDNet explains that we should not get too excited yet: "The first 1,500 sites that EE is upgrading to 5G amount to around 7% of its total sites, and cover 15% of the United Kingdom population".
BT's 21CN backbone network is also said to be Petabit-class, which is important because the new connections will be much more data hungry than before. The carrier is now testing 5G in Canary Wharf and other parts of east London. This will help 5G make the biggest difference - even with the biggest crowds often witnessed at these locations.
The UK was late to launch 4G back in 2012, said Allera.
The spokesman also said that as networks evolve and coverage expands, and new devices are launched, new applications and services will be built that leverage what 5G can do. The busiest sites will have five carriers of 4G spectrum supporting the new 5G spectrum, making them the highest speed sites of any United Kingdom operator in 2019.
You've probably heard of EE - they're the largest mobile carrier in the United Kingdom, and part of the even larger holding company BT Group.
In August, EE was named as the UK's best network for the 5th year in a row.