EE 5G are you in one of the six launch cities?
The rush to a 5G mobile world continues and EE announced on Wednesday 22nd the six cities where the service will be first available, these are: London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, BIrmingham and Manchester.
To enjoy 5G speeds people will need a new mobile phone of course and four handsets are available for pre-order
- OnePlus 7 Pro 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
- OPPO Reno 5G
- LG V50 ThinQ
For home broadband use two devices should be available to order soon and these are a 5GEE Home Router and the 5GEE Wifi.
Monthly contracts (and these are all 24 month contracts) start at £54/m for the OPPO Reno 5G with a 10GB data allowance and max out at £89/m for a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G with a 130GB monthly data allowance.
The frequency band used is expected to be mid-range, so should offer speeds in excess of what 4G is a capable of but still well short of the lab tests everyone got excited about which used the 38GHz to 60GHz range.
The roll-out at launch may just be six cities but later in 2019 we can expect Bristol, Coventry, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield, though there is a caution that this will just be the busiest areas enabled. 2020 will see Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Worcester and Wolverhampton added to the 5G footprint.
Some of the advanced capabilities of 5G will only become available in 2022 and 2023 is when we expect to see multi Gigabit speeds and the enhancements to support a massive Internet of Things deployment.
The launch line-up is missing any Huawei handsets due to the political issues surrounding that brand.
It will be interesting to see what will happen to the top speeds for EE mobile networks, this 408 Mbps test is the fastest we've seen in May so far. Alas no-one has thrown a 5G handset into our hands for testing and given how busy things are with tracking all the full fibre roll-outs we probably don't have time to do a decent job of evaluating performance.
Some say 5G will kill off the fixed broadband market, but unless they can launch affordable unlimited plans this looks unlikely and while some are happy to pay more to be the person with the fastest broadband in their street the majority are working to much tighter budgets where every pound matters. The current top handset 5G plan will not cope with the average monthly data usage, which is driven by video streaming, we are expecting a larger data allowance for the 5GEE Home Router but price is unknown, you can get a clue from the 4G device plans, 200GB is £50/m and 300GB is £60/m, 500GB is £80/m, the question is will the price premium be £5 or £20 per month?