EE rolls out 700MHz to improve indoor 5G

EE 4G roads
(Image credit: EE)

EE 5G customers should notice an improvement in indoor coverage after the operator started rolling out 700MHz spectrum across its next generation network.

5G networks will use a more diverse range of spectrum than any previous mobile generation because of the need to support multiple use cases such as mobile Internet and the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT).

Low-band spectrum like 700MHz offers superior indoor penetration and greater range, while high-band frequencies such as 26MHz millimetre Wave (mmWave) that offer huge capacity over short distances. Mid-band spectrum like 3.4GHz offers a compromise between coverage and capacity.

EE 5G 700MHz

The 700MHz band had been used for Freeview Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) services but the band had long been identified as hugely valuable for mobile services. Licenses for the band were auctioned by Ofcom earlier this year and EE was one of the victorious bidders.

The operator has deployed 700MHz at 50 sites and will continue in its efforts to extend 5G coverage to half of the UK population by 2023. A longer-term target is 90% landmass coverage by 2028.

EE says the number of people using its 5G network has risen by seven and a half times over the past year.

“We’ve got big ambitions for 5G connectivity in the next decade, and this is the latest milestone in our journey to provide our customers with unrivalled connectivity,” said David Salam, Director of Mobile Networks, EE, “This next stage of our 5G rollout will enable our customers to enjoy even better 5G, keeping them connected to the things that are most important to them.”

Separately, EE has now connected all 15 stations on the Glasgow Subway to its 4G network. The upgrade forms part of its work to deliver the LTE-enable Emergency Services Network (ESN).

“Delivering the ESN to Glasgow’s Subway stations will see a huge benefit to our emergency service responders, enabling them to transmit reliable and consistent digital communications across the 4G network and give first responders immediate access to life-saving information in live situations and emergencies,” added Richard Harrap, Managing Director, ESN, BT Enterprise.

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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.