Published: Wed, May 22, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

British mobile operator EE to start 5G services, will not offer Huawei


EE's announcement on Wednesday means it's the first United Kingdom network to launch commercial 5G.

After all, it surely has nothing to fear when it has already announced that it will stock alternative 5G devices. "This is a temporary measure while uncertainty exists regarding new Huawei 5G devices", said a spokesperson.

As for EE's 5G plans, the first launch cities will be London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Cardiff, though coverage will be restricted to landmark areas for leisure and commerce such as London's Wembley Stadium and Birmingham's Bullring.

Nevertheless EE says they deploying 5G "rapidly from today" and intend to add more than 100 new sites per month (each is expected to be linked via a 10Gbps fibre line).

Launches next year will include Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Worcester and Wolverhampton.

The first-wave non-standalone 5G services are built on top of EE's 4G network - and BT's mobile arm confirmed customers "will connect to both 4G and 5G at the same time".

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The issue has also been the source of heated controversy in Britain ever since a leak from the country's National Security Council (NSC) last month suggested the government was planning a limited role for Huawei in its 5G network. 5G SIM-only plans will be available from 20GB per month (£32 per month) and rising to 100GB (£52 per month). When asked about the decision, the head of BT's consumer division, Marc Allera said, "We've put the Huawei devices on pause, until we have more information".

"We've had to hold that back", he said. He promised the network wouldn't throttle its 4G to make its 5G seem faster, but said that in the initial stages the two networks would work together to provide customers with the best experience.

The telecoms firm announced earlier this year it would test its 5G mobile network during Glastonbury as part of its trials of the technology.

EE's new 5G Smart plans will give customers access to what EE claims to be the UK's first 5G network, BT Sport HD HDR and a Gamer's Data Pass with zero-rated data. By 2023 Phase 3 will be initiated introducing Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), Network Slicing and multi-gigabit-per-second speeds.

"Ultimately, consumer demand for 5G is unproven".

Now, the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G will lead the line-up, with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G to follow.

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