EE to put its new 3.5Ghz spectrum to the test in live 5G trial

By Sarah Wray 6 June 2018

Tech City 5G trial

EE will switch on what it is claiming will be the UK’s first live 5G trial network in October, in London’s Tech City. This, the mobile operator says, will connect EE’s customers to 5G for the first time.

Around the east London technology district, also known as Silicon Roundabout, 10 sites will be upgraded to 5G.  EE also worked closely with Tech City on trialling and rolling out its 4G network.

In the forthcoming trial, five small businesses and five households will also get the opportunity to try out 5G. EE will find these 10 residents and companies via social media between now and the trial kicking off.

Participants will be able to use mobile broadband devices and EE is currently working with its partners to finalise these.

The live trial is set to showcase 5G’s ability to provide high-speed mobile data connections, even in very densely populated areas.

Trial and spectrum details

EE told that the trial will use 3.5GHz spectrum, which it recently acquired in the Ofcom auction, and that users can expect gigabit-per-second speeds.

A spokesperson said: “The sites in the area are equipped with up to 65MHz of 4G spectrum, and that will boost the 5G experience.”

They added: “Trial sites will be live from October onwards, and we’ll keep learning as we engage with more consumers and businesses.”

5G technology is tipped to usher in faster and more reliable mobile connections, virtual and augmented reality applications, and more. EE has pledged its aim to be the first UK operator to launch 5G and is building the technology on top of its existing 4G network.

Making 5G a reality

EE told “[EE’s 5G launch] will be within 18 months,” but would not add further details at this stage.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer business, said: “This live trial is a big step forward in making the benefits of 5G a reality for our customers, and in making sure that the UK is at the front of the pack for 5G technology. We’re focusing our resource and experience across EE and BT to ensure that we continue to lead the UK market with a mobile network that keeps giving our customers the best speeds and the best coverage.

“5G is a fundamental part of our work to build a converged, smart network that keeps our customers connected to the things that matter most.”

O2 arena

O2 is also planning to run a 5G trial at the O2 arena later this year. Greenwich’s O2 entertainment venue will get its own localised 5G network, and installation of this is understood to have started in March. Demonstrations will include virtual reality, augmented reality and live streaming applications. In February, when the trial was announced, O2 said visitors should be able to start accessing the network “later this year”.

Useful read: What is 5G?




About Sarah Wray

Technical Writer at

Sarah Wray is a technical writer with over 10 years' experience writing about technology, including telecoms, smart cities, data, IoT, aerospace, and more.

View more posts by Sarah Wray >>>

EE set to broadcast the EE Wembley Cup Final live over 5G

EE and BT Sport will demonstrate the capabilities of 5G broadcasting with the EE...

EE will launch 5G in 16 cities in 2019 and we know which ones

EE has announced which UK cities will be the first to get upgraded to its 5G service.

EE pushes more 5G trial sites live and shares findings so far

EE has extended its live 5G trials in London, launching nine additional sites in...

EE’s CEO shows off first live 5G trial network on video

EE has set up the UK’s first live 5G trial network, and the company’s CEO has...

EE brings first live 5G trial to the UK with Canary Wharf trial

EE has launched a live 5G trial in Canary Wharf, bringing 5G to the UK for the first...