EE now has nearly one million 5G users

(Image credit: EE)

EE is switching on 5G in another 35 towns and cities, bringing the total number of locations covered by its next-generation network to 160.

This latest tranche of upgrades includes towns all over the country, but there is a particular emphasis on tourist areas ahead of the relaxation of lockdown and social distancing measures this summer. Brighton Pier, York Minster and Sandbanks are all covered, for example.

The BT-owned operator defines a location as 5G connected if it has a minimum population of 10,000 and a third of that total can receive a signal.  

EE 5G coverage

“We’ve announced that we’ve switched on our award-winning 5G network in a further 35 towns and cities across the UK, fulfilling the commitment we set last year to double our 5G place count,” said BT Consumer CEO Marc Allera.

“With the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions expected in the coming weeks and months, the increased capacity and faster speeds of our 5G network will ensure our customers stay connected as footfall starts to increase in historically busy places.”

EE was the first UK operator to launch a commercial 5G service back in 2019 and has seen traffic grow significantly over the past year as its network expands and more customers acquire a compatible handset. It expects there will be one million active 5G users within the next month.

At the Ofcom 5G auction spectrum last month, EE won 20MHz of paired 800MHz spectrum and 20MHz of supplementary 800MHz airwaves for £280 million and £4 million respectively, while it also secured 40MHz of 3.6-3.8GHz frequencies for £168 million.

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.