EE and Qualcomm are set to give your 5G a major speed boost

(Image credit: BT)

EE 5G customers could soon be able to access download speeds of up to 1.7Gbps in major UK cities after the operator became the first in Europe to successfully combine seven different spectrum channels to boost capacity.

Working with its long-term partner Qualcomm, EE used five 4G carriers in the 1.8GHz, 2.1GHz and 2.6GHz bands and two 5G new radio carriers at 3.4GHz and 3.6GHz.

By fusing the seven bands, EE was able to achieve speeds of 2.2GHz in lab tests, using a test device powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Mobile Platform and its Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System.

EE 5G 700MHz

EE was one of several operators to secure 3.6GHz licences at the Ofcom spectrum auction last year and, in total, 170MHz of bandwidth was used to achieve the enhanced capacity and headline speeds.

“Our commitment to technology investment and innovation, coupled with our leading 5G footprint, continues to see the EE network offer and sustain the best overall 5G experience in the UK,” said David Salam, director of mobile at EE. 

“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.”  

“We’re proud to have worked with EE to achieve such a notable milestone in the evolution of 5G technology,” added Vikrant Jain, director of business development at Qualcomm Technologies.  “Aggregating seven different spectrum bands for 5G is a significant achievement and will provide enhanced customer experience.”

EE will roll out the technology in major cities later this year, ready to support the next generation of smartphones.

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.