EE will roll out 5G services to 16 British cities in 2019

5G masts and network equipment, shot from below against a blue sky
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

EE has announced it'll be rolling out 5G to 16 cities in 2019, with London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester benefitting from a super-speedy mobile broadband connection.

It chose the 16 locations based upon demand and will make sure connectivity is tip-top in the most used parts of the selected cities. For example, Hyde Park in London, Manchester Arena, Belfast City Airport, the Welsh Assembly, Edinburgh Waverly train station and Birmingham's Bullring are the first places to benefit from the new standard in wireless broadband because they're the most-visited parts of the six cities.

The tech will be heading to ten more hotspots, including Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol throughout 2019. It thinks these places will "make the biggest difference to the most people."

These primary 1,500 sites will carry the weight of the network, with 25% of the total data in use across the country predicted to use the service, even though geographically the towns and cities only cover 15% of the population of the country.

"Adding 5G to the UK's number one 4G network will increase reliability, increase speeds, and keep our customers connected where they need it most," Marc Allera, CEO of BT's Consumer division, said. "This is another milestone for the UK and for our network journey we'll keep evolving as we move to one, smart network for our customers. We have an ambition to connect our customers to 4G, 5G or WiFi 100% of the time."

EE is just one of the networks testing 5G around the UK at the moment. It's upgrading its equipment to offer 10Gbps links at each 5G site and has already trialled the tech in Canary Wharf and across East London to make sure it can serve the huge volumes of people wanting to use data in highly concentrated areas.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.