EE reaches new aggregated 5G speed milestone

A pedestrian passes an EE store advertising 5G network capabilities in London, U.K., on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020
(Image credit: Getty)

EE has announced that it has become the first European network to successfully deliver 5G over seven combined LTE and 5G spectrum carriers, including the newly-acquired 3.6GHz 5G channels.

At more than 2.2Gbps in lab testing, the network aggregation delivers the telecom’s fastest 5G speeds to date, aiming to provide real-world speeds of over 1.7Gbps – the fastest in many areas of the UK.

The milestone was achieved using a mobile test device featuring the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Mobile Platform equipped with the Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System, which was unveiled last year as the world’s first 10 Gigabit 5G modem.

Commenting on the achievement, BT Mobile director David Salam said that EE’s “commitment to technology investment and innovation, coupled with [its] leading 5G footprint, continues to see the EE network offer and sustain the best overall 5G experience in the UK”.

Salam’s statement comes weeks after EE was credited with providing the “best overall 5G experience in the UK” by mobile network performance researcher RootMetrics, after also being named the top-performing UK mobile network operator of 2020.

“By pooling our research expertise with Qualcomm Technologies, we have been able to further enhance the EE network and will start to deliver some of Europe’s fastest 5G speeds in our major cities,” Salam added.

The technology is expected to be rolled out in major cities this year and will be supported by the next generation of smartphones, EE stated today.

Qualcomm Business Development director Vikrant Jain said that the San Diego-based company is “proud to have worked with EE to achieve such a notable milestone in the evolution of 5G technology”.

“Aggregating seven (5LTE +2NR) different spectrum bands for 5G is a significant achievement and will provide enhanced customer experience. Qualcomm Technologies would like to congratulate EE as it remains at the forefront of 5G technology innovation,” he added.

The 3.6GHz channel, part of the primary band for 5G, was acquired by EE through Ofcom’s spectrum auction in early 2021 for an estimated £450 million. Alongside the 5G spectrum, EE also won 2x10Mhz of paired frequency spectrum in the 700Mhz band, which is responsible for providing wide-area coverage, especially in rural areas. Overall, the long-delayed auction raised more than £1.3 billion.

Sabina Weston

Having only graduated from City University in 2019, Sabina has already demonstrated her abilities as a keen writer and effective journalist. Currently a content writer for Drapers, Sabina spent a number of years writing for ITPro, specialising in networking and telecommunications, as well as charting the efforts of technology companies to improve their inclusion and diversity strategies, a topic close to her heart.

Sabina has also held a number of editorial roles at Harper's Bazaar, Cube Collective, and HighClouds.