EE to switch on 'UK's first' 5G trial in London

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EE will switch on the UK’s first live 5G trial in October, allowing consumers and businesses to test out the next generation of mobile networks in London’s Tech City.

A social media search for five SMBs and five residents to test the network using prototype devices will soon be launched, allowing EE to see how 5G behaves in a real-life environment.

Tech City, along with Wembley Stadium, has been one of two areas EE has traditionally used to showcase its latest network innovations and claims the advent of 5G – powered by high-band 3.4GHz spectrum – will be especially relevant in densely populated areas.

EE 5G London

Ten sites will be switched on, covering City Road, Old Street, Hoxton Square, Chiswell Street and other parts of the area, connecting to EE’s 4G network.

“This live trial is a big step forward in making the benefits of 5G a reality for our customers, and in making sure that the UK is at the front of the pack for 5G technology,” said EE and BT Consumer CEO Mark Allera.

“We’re focusing our resource and experience across EE and BT to ensure that we continue to lead the UK market with a mobile network that keeps giving our customers the best speeds and the best coverage. 5G is a fundamental part of our work to build a converged, smart network that keeps our customers connected to the things that matter most.”

Rival operator O2 plans to build its own test network at the O2 arena in the second half of 2018, but hasn’t given a concrete launch date yet

It is expected that the first commercial 5G networks will go live in the UK in 2020 and BT has stated it wants to be the first to market as it embarks on its converged network strategy.

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