EE 5G coverage and roll-out

EE 5G coverage

EE 5G is available now in a number of locations. In this document we cover: how to check EE coverage, where EE 5G coverage is rolling out in the coming months and what locations are scheduled to get EE 5G during 2020.

Contents list

  1. EE 5G Coverage
    1. ​EE coverage checker
    2. Cities with EE 5G now?
    3. Locations getting 5G next?
    4. Comparison to other networks
  2. EE 4G Coverage
  3. EE 5G Network Speeds
  4. EE's 5G Spectrum

EE 5G Coverage

EE was the first UK network with a commercial 5G service, having switched on its 5G network on May 30th, 2019. EE 5G was initially available in the six high population cities listed below. Since launch, EE has expanded its coverage to three additional cities and a number of suburbs.

It's important to mention that these cities 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.

A further 7 cities will see 5G switched on during 2019 with another 10 locations confirmed for 2020. EE will be switching on more than 100 5G sites each month - these are not towns or cities but base sites that cover part of a town or city.

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 it won’t initially be widely available.

CHECK COVERAGE

Which cities have EE 5G now?

Cities with  EE 5G now

Belfast

Birmingham

Bristol

Cardiff

Coventry

Edinburgh

Leicester

London

Manchester

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-

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EE 5G is currently available in parts of Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh, Leicester, London and Manchester.

Those are the major cities with EE 5G coverage but EE has also switched 5G on in some towns, including Kingston-upon-Thames, Grays, Romford, Chatham, and Gillingham in the South East, the West Midlands suburbs of Solihull, Dudley, Sutton Coldfield, West Bromwich, and Lichfield, and the Greater Manchester suburbs of Salford, Oldham, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Rochdale, and Milnrow.

Coverage isn’t comprehensive, but it is improving – recently for example EE expanded its 5G coverage to London Waterloo, Piccadilly Circus, St David’s shopping centre in Cardiff, and numerous other busy locations.

What locations will EE 5G roll out to next?

EE has confirmed it will launch 5G in a further 7 major cities before the end of 2019.

Cities getting EE 5G in 2019

Glasgow

Hull

Leeds

Liverpool

Newcastle

Nottingham

Sheffield

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Note that EE is also likely to roll 5G out to additional towns and suburbs this year, but it hasn’t yet confirmed where. As with current coverage areas the cities above won’t have complete 5G coverage on day one though. Rather, it will likely mostly just be in the busiest parts.

EE has said that it plans to switch on over 100 5G sites every month, and even outlined some of the places that will get 5G in 2020.

Towns and Cities getting EE 5G in 2020

Aberdeen

Cambridge

Derby

Gloucester

Peterborough

Plymouth

Portsmouth

Southampton

Wolverhampton

Worcester

plus more locations TBC

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How does EE's 5G coverage compare to the other mobile networks?

There are currently 19 towns and cities with 5G coverage from at least one UK mobile network. EE 5G coverage is currently available in 9 locations, Vodafone has 15 locations and Three currently only offers 5G Home Broadband in London.

UK 5G Coverage

City

EE

Vodafone

Three

O2

Belfast

-

-

Birkenhead

-

- Summer 2020

Birmingham

End of 2019

Summer 2020

Bristol

End of 2019

End of 2019

Bolton

-

End of 2019

-

Cardiff

End of 2019

Coventry

-

-

-

Edinburgh

-

End of 2019

Gatwick

-

- -

Glasgow

End of 2019

End of 2019

Summer 2020

Lancaster

-

- -

Leeds

End 2019

-

End 2019

Leicester

- - -

Liverpool

End of 2019

End of 2019

Summer 2020

London

Manchester

End of 2019

Summer 2020

Newbury

-

-

Summer 2020

Plymouth

2020 - Summer 2020

Stoke-on-Trent

- - End of 2019

Wolverhampton

2020

End of 2019 Summer 2020

Coverage Checker

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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.

UK 4G Coverage (2019)

Network

4G population coverage

EE

>99% (check coverage)

Three

99.8% (check coverage)

Vodafone

99% (check coverage)

O2

99% (check coverage)

 

5G Network Speeds

EE says that currently users should expect speeds that are typically 100-150Mbps faster than 4G. Speeds on 4G can vary, but Opensignal’s Mobile Networks Update from April 2019 put EE’s at 32.5Mbps on average, while the most its 4G plans support is 90Mbps, so on EE 5G you should theoretically average around 130Mbps – 240Mbps. However, top speeds could currently exceed 1Gbps according to the network.

That said, an Opensignal report found that the top 5G speeds on any UK network between April-September 2019 were 599Mbps, so 1Gbps might not be realistic just yet.

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 40-50ms, 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 seem smoother and slicker than on 4G.

EE’s 5G Spectrum

EE's 5G spectrum holding as compared to rivals can be viewed below.

EE 5G spectrum ie frequency bands

This chart comes courtesy of Three, and the line at 100MHz signifies the amount of contiguous 5G spectrum required for ‘true’ 5G according to the ITU (the global standards body on 5G technology).

However, it’s worth noting that there are set to be future 5G auctions for spectrum in the 3.6GHz - 3.8GHz bands and the 700MHz band, as well likely as the 26GHz and 8GHz bands, and potentially others, which Ofcom is set to discuss at WRC-19, so there’s time for EE to collect more 5G spectrum.

EE also has plenty of spectrum less suited to 5G, with more spectrum overall than any rival in fact.

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