We already knew EE had launched the UK’s first live 5G trial earlier this month, but now we’ve had a closer look at it, as Marc Allera, CEO of EE, BT and Plusnet, has demonstrated it on video.
The short clip below, posted to EE’s official Twitter account, reveals that this 5G broadcast in a live environment at Canary Wharf isn’t just a UK-first but even a European one.
The trial reaches speeds of 1.3Gbps in the video, which is far faster than 4G, and all the more impressive when you consider how busy Canary Wharf is, making it a demanding place to do a test. But that’s just the beginning, as the team is apparently aiming for 1.8Gbps next.
The video also shows the large equipment required for the trial, equipment which according to Allera will be getting smaller, faster and more efficient by the month, until it’s small enough to fit into a standard smartphone, which will supposedly be achieved in the next year or so.
Fast, but could be faster
While the speeds shown here are very high, we’ve already seen much higher speeds in lab conditions. EE itself has achieved consistent 2.8Gbps download speeds in a test lab.
More recently, the University of Warwick has managed to send data to an autonomous vehicle at 2.867Gbps – a very similar speed. That’s almost 40 times faster than fixed line broadband and could be something to look forward to one day, though we wouldn’t expect speeds that high on day one of 5G. Even more remarkably, we’ve seen Vodafone and Huawei hit peak speeds of 20Gbps in a trial.
Still, even a jump to 1.3Gbps or 1.8Gbps is a massive one, given that 4G speeds tend to average at most around 30Mbps and even on EE’s fastest network top out at 90Mbps.