BT plans to roll out EE 5G coverage to 90% of the UK’s geographical area by 2028, with migration to a new cloud-based core network facilitating the launch of Standalone 5G (SA 5G) services by 2023.
The company says it is offering the most “complete network vision” the country has ever seen, combining 5G, fibre and Wi-Fi to deliver unprecedented convergence that will deliver business opportunities for both itself and its customers.
“We’re building and bonding two next generation networks simultaneously to create a single smart infrastructure available in every part of the UK,” said Marc Allera, BT Consumer CEO, adding that it would be able to offer a fully converged service by the middle of the decade.
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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. EE is branding its 700MHz rollout as an “enhanced” form of 5G, available from next month, provided customers have a compatible handset.
As confirmed earlier this summer, Redditch, Morecambe and Cramlington will be among first UK towns to benefit as the company continues its drive to deliver 5G to half the UK population by 2023.
A longer-term target is 90% landmass coverage by 2028.
“As the UK’s best network, we continue to look for ways to provide our customers with the best 5G service possible,” said David Salam, Director of Mobile, EE. “By further enhancing the indoor 5G coverage we provide, we’re helping boost the experience for those with the latest smartphones, allowing them to get the most from them in more places across the UK.”
EE plans to boost its network with Standalone 5G technology that used a new cloud-based core layer, OpenRAN, and ‘on demand’ equipment such as satellites and drones.
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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.