EE 5G coverage checker

EE 5G Roll Out

Now

68

Postcode areas with 5G Coverage

End of 2019

68

Postcode areas with 5G Coverage

EE 5G is available in parts of 125 UK towns and cities at the time of writing, which makes for impressive progress, as the network launched 5G on May 30th, 2019 in parts of just six cities.

It's important to mention that these places do not currently have ‘blanket’ 5G coverage. However, 5G can be found in many areas with a high population density, and coverage is increasing all the time.

Below we’ve listed all the key places that EE 5G is available, as well as looking at other aspects of EE’s 5G network, and how it compares to the other UK 5G networks.

EE 5G Summary

EE 5G summary chart

EE 5G coverage

160 UK towns & cities

Coverage checker

Check EE coverage

Network speeds (average download speeds)

5G - 149.9Mbps - Point Topic tests

4G - 36.4Mbps - Opensignal tests

EE 4G and 3G coverage

>99% population coverage

5G phones

5G phones on EE

5G home broadband

5G home broadband on EE

5G SIM only

5G SIM only on EE

How does EE's 5G coverage compare to others?

For the 120 major towns and cities in the UK, the four major 5G networks stack up as below:

  • O2 has launched 5G in 72 of the 120 locations below. 
  • Three has launched 5G in 67 of the 120 locations below. 
  • EE has launched 5G in 75 of the 120 locations below. 
  • Vodafone has launched 5G in 44 of the 120 locations below. 

Note that a tick against a town or city in the chart below just means a network offers some coverage there – not that it’s comprehensive. In many cases 5G coverage will be very patchy, so you should always use a network’s official coverage checker before buying a 5G plan.

It’s also worth noting that indoor and outdoor 5G coverage will often differ, with the signal struggling more to penetrate some buildings. However, coverage should continue improving over time, both inside and out.

Town/City

EE

+BT

Vodafone

+ASDA +VOXI +Virgin Mobile

Three

O2

+Sky +Tesco +Giffgaff

Aberdeen

Bath

Birmingham

Blackburn

Blackpool

Bolton

Bournemouth

Bradford

Brighton

Bristol

Bromley

Cambridge

Canterbury

Cardiff

Carlisle

Central London

Chelmsford

Chester

Cleveland

Colchester

Coventry

Crewe

Croydon

Darlington

Dartford

Derby

Doncaster

Dorchester

Dudley

Dumfries and Galloway

Dundee

Durham

East London

Edinburgh

Enfield

Exeter

Falkirk and Stirling

Galashiels

Glasgow

Gloucester

Guildford

Halifax

Harrogate

Harrow

Hemel Hempstead

Hereford

Huddersfield

Hull

Ilford

Inverness

Ipswich

Kilmarnock

Kingston upon Thames

Kirkcaldy

Kirkwall

Lancaster

Leeds

Leicester

Lerwick

Lincoln

Liverpool

Llandrindod Wells

Llandudno

Luton

Manchester

Milton Keynes

Motherwell

Newcastle upon Tyne

Newport

North London

North West London

Northampton

Northern Ireland

Norwich

Nottingham

Oldham

Outer Hebrides

Oxford

Paisley

Perth

Peterborough

Plymouth

Portsmouth

Preston

Reading

Redhill

Rochester

Romford

Salisbury

Sheffield

Shrewsbury

Slough

South East London

South West London

Southall

Southampton

Southend-on-Sea

St Albans

Stevenage

Stockport

Stoke-on-Trent

Sunderland

Sutton

Swansea

Swindon

Taunton

Telford

Tonbridge

Torquay

Truro

Twickenham

Wakefield

Walsall

Warrington

Watford

West London

Wigan

Wolverhampton

Worcester

York

Latest locations to get EE 5G

The most recent places that EE has brought 5G to (as of 02/02/2021) include Burton-upon-Trent, Cannock, Grimsby, Halifax, Ipswich, Leamington Spa, Middlesbrough, Neath, Portishead, St Albans, Stockport, Swinton, and Tamworth.

CHECK EE 5G COVERAGE

EE coverage checker

EE has an online coverage tool where you can enter your postcode to get an accurate estimation of the 5G coverage in your area. EE’s coverage map also shows 4G, 3G and 2G coverage.

We recommend that you check coverage in your area before buying a 5G phone or plan, as 5G isn’t yet available in a lot of places.

4G coverage

If you’re not in a 5G coverage area then you’ll have to rely on 4G or 3G coverage, just as you would have done before 5G launched.

EE likely has more 4G coverage than any rival network at over 99% population coverage, so even in places where you can’t get 5G you should be in good hands. Below you’ll find a 4G coverage comparison between EE and the other main UK networks, based on the latest available data.

5G networks 4G population coverage (2021)

EE

(+BT)

>99%

Check Coverage

Three

>99%

Check Coverage

Vodafone

(+VOXI +Virgin Mobile)

>99%

Check Coverage

O2

(+Sky +Tesco +Giffgaff)

>99%

Check Coverage

5G roaming abroad

EE doesn’t offer 5G roaming at the time of writing (only Vodafone and VOXI do). However, you can roam at up to 4G speeds at no extra cost in 48 destinations – or in up to 53 on some plans.

5G Network Speeds

EE average 5G download speed

EE median 5G download speed

EE Max 5G download speed

149.9Mbps (Point Topic)

130 /134.76Mbps (Point Topic/Speedtest)

753Mbps (Point Topic)

Based on September 2020 data from Point Topic, EE has an average 5G download speed in the UK of 149.9Mbps. Its median 5G download speed meanwhile was 130Mbps in these tests, and its maximum 5G download speed was 753Mbps – most of those speeds are UK-wide, but the maximum was recorded in Paisley.

There’s also Speedtest data from Q3 2020, which found that EE’s median 5G download speed was 134.76Mbps, which is in line with the median from Point Topic.

Those sources are among the most up to date data we have on EE, but Opensignal data from the first few months of 2020 puts EE’s average 5G download speed at 149.8Mbps – which is also in line with the Point Topic results.

That figure is also in line with RootMetrics findings, which found that EE’s fastest median 5G download speed in any city during the first half of 2020 was 145.9Mbps, a figure which was recorded in Newcastle. Its median in other cities was lower, but in all cases across the 16 cities tested, EE managed a median of at least 103.9Mbps.

Latency

Latency is how long the mobile network takes to respond to a request. So it’s the period of time before data even begins travelling. It’s measured in milliseconds (ms), but while on 4G networks it’s often around 30-50ms, with 5G it could ultimately be as low as 1ms – though don’t expect it to be that low just yet.

EE hasn’t revealed exactly how low latency its 5G network is yet, but it has said to expect an almost “instant connection”, which should be hugely beneficial to gamers, but will also help any other thing that requires the internet to seem smoother and slicker than on 4G.

According to late 2019 data from Ookla, 5G latency across networks in the UK at that stage averaged around 21-26ms. So that’s some way off 1ms, and a RootMetrics report from late 2020 recorded EE’s latency in central London as being an even less impressive 45ms.

So it seems like there’s a way to go on the latency front, but we’ll update this section as soon as we have any other useful figures.

EE’s 5G frequency allocation

Frequency

Network type

3.6GHz (3600MHz)

5G

3.4GHz (3400MHz)

5G

2.6GHz (2600MHz)

4G

2.1GHz (2100MHz)

3G and 4G

1.8GHz (1800MHz)

2G and 4G

800MHz

4G

700MHz

4G and 5G

Mobile signals – including 5G – rely on frequencies to travel between masts and smartphones. Different networks use some different frequencies, as well as some that are the same as each other, with EE currently using the ones listed in the chart above.

Its main 5G frequency at the time of writing is the 3.4GHz band, which is also the main 5G one used by other UK networks currently. However, it also acquired spectrum in the 3.6GHz band at the second 5G spectrum auction, and it will soon start leveraging this.

You might have noticed that these bands are higher than any of the frequencies that EE uses for 4G, 3G, or 2G, and there’s good reason for that, as higher frequencies tend to have greater available capacity, which helps make mobile performance more reliable, even when lots of users are using lots of data all at the same time.

With all the capabilities that 5G offers, and the growing number of connected devices, that capacity and reliability is vital. However high frequency spectrum isn’t without its issues. It can’t travel as far as lower frequencies, and it’s not as good at passing through objects – such as buildings – either.

As such, lower frequencies still play a role, such as the 700MHz band, which EE also acquired some spectrum in at the second 5G auction. This isn’t conventionally considered a 5G band, but it can help bolster 5G networks by making up for the weaknesses of high frequency spectrum, or it can be used towards improved rural 4G coverage.

In terms of how much 5G capacity EE actually has access to, it’s got 40Mhz of 3.4GHz spectrum and 40MHz of 3.6GHz spectrum, for 80MHz total, which is the same as O2, but slightly less than the 90MHz that Vodafone has and way below the 140MHz of 5G spectrum that Three has access to.

Note that for the purposes of these totals we haven’t included the 700MHz spectrum, as the networks haven’t yet confirmed what they’ll be using it for, but if we were to include that then EE’s 5G spectrum total reaches 120MHz, Three’s reaches 160MHz, O2’s reaches 100MHz, and Vodafone’s remains at 90MHz.

In any case, it’s early days for 5G so these differences may not make a huge difference yet, and they might also be short-lived, as there are likely to be more 5G spectrum auctions, where networks can increase their holdings.

Networks that have launched 5G in the UK

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