EE 5G network is now available to half of the UK population

EE 4G roads
(Image credit: EE)

EE has become the first mobile operator to cover half of the UK population with 5G coverage, three years after unveling its next generation network.

The BT-owned company was the first to launch 5G back in 2019 and has achieved the milestone one year ahead of target. Its ultimate ambition is to cover 90% of the UK’s geographic area by 2028.

The latest expansion involves popular holiday destinations, such as seaside resorts like Blackpool, Cowes, Hastings, and Poole, as well as gateways for outdoor activities like Great Malvern and Inverness.

EE 5G coverage

“Today’s milestone is a huge achievement in our 5G journey,” said EE chief executive Marc Allera. 

“EE was the first network to launch 5G in the UK and now we’re the first mobile network operator to take the technology to 50% of the UK population. Our ambitions for 5G don’t stop here. We’ll continue to invest in our network to provide our customers with unrivalled connectivity.”

EE has consistently topped independent testing of 5G since launch and has worked to improve its service over the past three years through the rollout of new spectrum that enhances speed and improves indoor coverage, carrier aggregation technologies, and the migration to a cloud-based core network that will enable 5G Standalone (5G SA) services by 2023.

The company wants to offer converged networking services that combine 5G and fibre technologies to deliver seamless connectivity and entirely new services for customers.

The government wants 5G to be available to most of the UK population by the end of 2030. EE has said that from 2028 it will be able to provide ‘on demand’ coverage to anywhere in the country, supported by alternative technologies like satellite.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.