The United Kingdom (UK) is making some big moves as far as the roll-out of the next generation 5G mobile networks is concerned. Just days after Vodafone confirmed that they will be rolling out the 5G networks in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London in July, mobile operator EE has flipped the switch and started the 5G journey yesterday. EE is offering 5G in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester. More cities are expected to get 5G networks over the next few months. This makes EE the first 5G network in the UK.
“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,” says Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division, in an official statement.
At the moment, EE is offering a range of 5G devices. This includes the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Oppo Reno 5G, LG V50 ThinQ, as well as a 5GEE Home Router and a 5GEE Wi-Fi Hub. You will need a 5G phone, because current smartphones are limited to supporting 4G networks only, and cannot work with 5G. The EE plans start at £54 per month for 10GB 5G data and go all the way up to £74 per month for up to 120GB 5G data—each offering unlimited call minutes and text messages. Over and above this, EE also offers something called as “Swappable Benefit Options”, which you can choose depending on the 5G tariff plan you select. These include a Music Data Pass, which lets you stream music from apps such as Apple Music without using up your data allowance, the Video Data Pass that lets you stream from apps including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video without that being deducted from your data allowance and Roam Further that lets you use the data and call minutes in various countries you may be traveling to.
Let us take the example of buying a OnePlus 7 Pro 5G with an EE 5G connection. We chose the 5G Smart Plan that is priced at £59 per month. There is the one-time £170 cost for the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G that has to be paid—this is the top tier 256GB storage variant in Nebula Blue colour.
EE has confirmed that Bristol, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow will get 5G networks over the next few months, with the cities of Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Worcester and Wolverhampton getting their first experience with 5G next year.