EE to launch 5G mobile network in Edinburgh on 30 May

EE will launch its 5G mobile network in the UK on 30 May.

Wednesday, 22nd May 2019, 1:19 pm
EE will roll out their 5G network on 30 May. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The BT-owned telecoms giant said it will be the first operator in the UK to launch the new, high-speed mobile network.

And Edinburgh will be at the centre of the roll-out as one of just six cities to get the upgrade first.

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5G technology is the next generation of mobile network and is expected to offer internet speeds several times that of the existing generation 4G.

EE said it will initially launch in six cities. Outside of Edinburgh, the others are London, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester, with more to follow before the end of the year and into 2020.

It said it planned to reach 1,500 sites by the end of 2019.

EE also announced its new 5G mobile plans would be available to pre-order from today, ahead of the launch next week.

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 has said it will install five temporary masts across the Worthy Farm site, which will enable festival-goers to connect to 2G, 3G, 4G and new 5G networks.

EE boss Marc Allera said the rollout would help “keep the UK at the forefront of digital technology”.

Fellow mobile operator Vodafone confirmed it will launch 5G across seven cities in the UK on July 3, with another 12 cities to follow by the end of the year.

EE has also confirmed it is leaving Huawei out of its line-up of 5G smartphones.

EE chief executive Marc Allera said it had chosen to “pause” the sale of Huawei 5G phones amid ongoing tensions between the US and the Chinese company.

He said EE will not restart Huawei sales “until we get the information and confidence and the long-term security that our customers – when they buy those devices – are going to be supported for the

lifetime that they’ve got the device with us”.

The omission of Huawei comes after Google confirmed compliance with a US government order, which forces American companies to stop trading with the Chinese firm.

The block means Google will stop supplying its Android operating system, which powers Huawei phones, to the company’s new devices. However, it will continue to support phones already on sale.

Mr Allera said the company has “worked for decades with government” and “at the moment we have no instructions to change our plans”, amid security fears around the use of Huawei in 5G networks.

The Government is yet to announce its decision on whether the Chinese firm should be allowed as part of telecoms infrastructure following an official review.

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