Edinburgh among first 6 UK cities to get 5G coverage from EE in 2019

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Edinburgh will be one of the first cities in the UK to get faster and more reliable 5G coverage in 2019.

Mobile network provider EE has announced today that the capital will be one of six cities across the country chosen for the first phase of the launch, which will take place at some point next year.

AN EE mast

AN EE mast

Other cities set to benefit include London, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester.

And EE says it will be switching on 5G in another 10 cities - including Glasgow - at a later point in 2019. The rollout will also include Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol.

A spokesman for EE said that 5G will give customers in the busiest parts of the UK more capacity on their devices and a faster and more reliable mobile experience with a better data connection.

The spokesman also said that as networks evolve and coverage expands, and new devices are launched, new applications and services will be built that leverage what 5G can do.

Adam McVey, Leader of City of Edinburgh Council, said: “I welcome today’s announcement from EE. With the number of residents, businesses and visitors to the city growing all the time, we know that demands for data will continue to increase. This 5G rollout by EE will help meet this demand while ensuring Edinburgh remains one of the most connected cities in the UK.”

EE is building 5G in the UK’s busiest places, where the power of 5G technology can really make a difference by providing a more reliable data connection even in the biggest crowds.

The mobile network provider, which is part of BT Group, will launch with multiple smartphone partners as well as an EE 5G Home router with external antenna, to showcase the power of 5G for broadband.

Michael Matheson, Scottish Government cabinet secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, said: “I welcome today’s announcement from EE which will bring the latest mobile technology to Edinburgh and Glasgow and which will further enhance both cities’ credentials as places to live, visit and do business in.

"Commercial rollout of 5G by EE and the other mobile network operators supports our wider ambition of Scotland having an early advantage of this new and emerging technology.

"We know that demands for even more data will increase and this is why we have committed to developing a forward-looking strategy on 5G."

Mr Matheson added that the government have also just awarded a contract for the Scottish 4G Infill Programme, in which they will invest up to £25 million to deliver masts and 4G mobile services in selected mobile ‘notspots’ throughout Scotland.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer division, said: “Our 5G trials are going well, giving us valuable insight into both the performance of the new technology and the challenges of upgrading sites with this new equipment.

"We’re confident that we can bring 5G to the busiest parts of Edinburgh and the UK in 2019. We’ll start with the busiest ‘hotspots’, meeting the greatest demand from our customers, and keep upgrading in more places from there.”