EE beats Vodafone to become UK's first 5G provider

The firm will roll out the service in London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Belfast, Cardiff and Manchester, with 10 more cities to be added by 2020

23May

EE has announced it will be launching its 5G network across the UK on May 30 th, initially rolling out the service in six cities: London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Belfast, Cardiff and Manchester. The firm has promised it will be adding 5G in 10 more cities by 2020.

The news means that its 5G service would be available ahead of rival Vodafone's network, which is set to be available in seven cities on July 3 rd. 02 and Three, the two other largest network providers in the UK, have yet to announce official launch dates for their 5G offering, but both have set a deadline for the end of this year.

"With 5G, our network will give you a more reliable connection in the busiest places and at the busiest times," remarked EE. "That's because 5G has a greater bandwidth than 4G and can support more devices. So you can stream sports in a stadium, download videos at a busy train station and share photos while partying at a music festival."

It added that, alongside better connection, its 5G network would mean faster speeds at better quality in addition to instant connection.

EE opened for pre-orders on four 5G handsets on May 22 nd in preparation for the launch and prices for 5G plans start at £54 ($67) a month escalating in price to £74 ($92) a month for 120GB. SIM-only plans start at £32 ($40) a month.

Last month, Verizon became the world's first commercial 5G provider after launching in Chicago and Minneapolis when it moved the date forward a week to overtake the South Korean government's offering.

Last year, a Ericsson report predicted that that 5G technology will cover more than 40% of the world's global population by 2024.

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