EE launches UK's first 5G network in six cities

Image Credit: EE (Image credit: EE)

Mobile carrier EE has launched the UK's first 5G network in six cities, ushering in a new era of connectivity for not only our smartphones, but a whole host of smart devices.

EE's 5G network has been switched on in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester, but you won't just need to live in one of these locations to benefit from 5G.

For now, the 5G coverage in these locations doesn't cover the entirety of the cities, so you may have to move around to find a 5G connection.

What is 5G?

5G networks are the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, offering faster speeds and more reliable connections on smartphones and other devices than ever before.

Read more about 5G

You'll also need a 5G compatible phone and a 5G mobile contract to access the fifth generation of network technology.

At launch EE is offering just one 5G handset, the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, but from June 7 it will add the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, LG V50 ThinQ 5G and Oppo Reno 5G to its 5G line-up (they are all currently available for pre-order).

There is also a premium to pay, with EE's 5G contracts more expensive than its 4G plans.

Faster, more reliable internet

5G is billed to deliver a much faster and more reliable internet connection to your smartphone, allowing you to download apps, games, movies and music in a flash.

The speed should be far superior to what you get with 4G, although it will be dependent on a number of factors, including how close you are to a 5G mast.

At the time of writing it's not clear how much of the launch cities are covered by EE's 5G network, but we'll be getting a handset today to put it to the test.

For those disappointed by the limited roll-out across the country, there's some good news, as EE promises to bring its 5G network to a further 10 locations by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Vodafone will join the 5G future on July 3 in seven locations, with a total of 19 locations connected before the year is out.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.