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EE rolls out 5G to 21 new locations across UK

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BT-owned mobile operator EE has switched on its 5G network in a further 21 towns and cities. This brings the number of UK areas it serves with the next-generation wireless network up to 71.

EE became the first of the major UK mobile operators to switch on its 5G network, beginning in parts of London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh in May 2019. It was followed by Vodafone in July, O2 in October, and Three in February this year.

Now, EE has switched on its 5G network in parts of Bath, Birkenhead, Bransholme, Bury, Chelmsford, Cheshunt, Clevedon, Clydebank, Dartford, Dinnington, Loughborough, Loughton, Motherwell, North Shields, Rochester, Rotherham, Rugeley, Swadlincote, South Shields, Staines, and Waltham Cross.

It has also introduced 5G coverage to “high footfall areas”, such as London Bridge, Bath’s Royal Crescent and Thornton Heath railway station.

“We have 5G coverage in more places than any other operator and remain focused on connecting even more towns and cities in 2020 and beyond to keep our customers connected in the busiest places,” said Marc Allera, chief executive of BT’s consumer division (which includes EE).

5G is the latest generation of mobile network technology, following 4G. 

5G uses shorter-range, higher-frequency millimetre waves to transmit information at speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G. The new standard is expected to be used to transmit high volumes of data between connected devices such as driverless cars and other IoT devices, as well as increasing speeds for mobile devices.

This week, the government confirmed that EE and its competitors have agreed to join the Shared Rural Network project to expand rural mobile network coverage across the entire UK. The project will focus on improving mobile coverage across areas which lack sufficient infrastructure at present.

The goal is to achieve 95 per cent 4G coverage of the UK by the end of 2025 (up from 65 per cent in 2018). The burden of expanding 4G networks to the hardest-to-reach areas will be shouldered by all four operators, which have agreed to share some infrastructure.

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