5G launched today in six UK cities on the EE mobile network, offering “gigabit” speed levels for mobile device users.
The lucky six cities are London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester, with further rollouts to Bristol, Coventry, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield later in the year. In 2020, ten more towns and cities will get 5G sites, including Aberdeen, Bournemouth, Brighton, Cambridge, Dundee, Exeter, Ipswich, Norwich, Plymouth and York.
The choice of 5G handset is a little limited right now, with only the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G available at launch, though the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Oppo Reno 5G and LG V50 ThinQ 5G can be pre-ordered at EE. The OnePlus 7 Pro 5G comes in Nebula Blue with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB ROM. Top of the range that.
And Huawei managed to get in on the act too, with a photograph showing that the BBC were using a Huawei antenna for their outside broadcast. (As spotted by The Register).
Below is a video from OnePlus showing a speed test on both a 4G and 5G network. Obviously, the real world data transfer rates will depend on many factors, such as distance from the transmitter and number of 5G phones in the area, but it’s a ten-fold increase in speed. I seem to remember similar promises going from GPRS to 3G and from 3G to 4G, so we’ll see what happens in reality once 5G handsets become the norm.
All the mobile carriers in the UK have said they’ll launch 5G in 2019 in select cities. Vodafone is expected to be next, launching 3 July.