By Juan Pedro Tomás
UK carrier EE, part of telecom group BT, announced that it has switched on 5G technology in 35 additional cities and towns across the country.
Some of the new cities covered by EE’s 5G network are Blackburn, Bolton, Brighton, Chester, Dundee, Exeter, Harrogate, Milton Keynes, Norwich, Portsmouth, Southport, Stoke-on-Trent, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sunbury-on-Thames, Swansea, Swindon, Wigan, Worcester and York.
The carrier said that top tourist landmarks and coastal locations including Brighton Pier, York Minster, Swansea Bay and Sandbanks Beach are covered by EE’s 5G network.
EE launched the UK’s first 5G service in May 2019 and has now expanded to 160 towns and cities across the UK. EE initially launched 5G technology in London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester. Other large cities in which the telco offers 5G coverage includes Bristol, Covently, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Sunderland.
The telco also said that it is set to achieve the milestone of reaching one million active 5G customers this month. London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow are the cities where EE has the highest number of 5G users.
“We’ve announced that we’ve switched on our 5G network in a further 35 towns and cities across the UK, fulfilling the commitment we set last year to double our 5G place count. With the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions expected in the coming weeks and months, the increased capacity and faster speeds of our 5G network will ensure our customers stay connected as footfall starts to increase in historically busy places,” said CEO of BT’s Consumer Division, Marc Allera.
According to independent 5G testing by RootMetrics, EE’s 5G availability is higher than all other networks in the UK’s four capital cities – Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London.
Also, EE recently secured 2×10 megahertz of paired frequency spectrum in the 700 MHz band at a cost of £280 million (US$385.4 million); 20 megahertz of supplementary downlink spectrum in the 700 MHz band at a cost of £4 million; and 40 megahertz in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band for £168 million.
Rival operators Hutchison 3G UK, Telefonica’s O2 and Vodafone also secured 5G spectrum in the recent spectrum auction, in which the UK government raised a total of £1.35 billion.