EE will be launching 5G services imminently, its parent company BT said in a financial release. BT reiterated that EE is on track to launch 5G technology in 16 cities across the U.K. with a range of device partners.
“Our aim is to deliver the best converged network and be the leader in fixed ultrafast and mobile 5G networks. We are increasingly confident in the environment for investment in the UK. We have already announced the first 16 U.K. cities for 5G investment,” said BT’s CEO Philip Jansen.
5G services will be initially available in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester.
In a second phase, the carrier will also launch 5G in the busiest areas of Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol.
EE previously said that the first 1,500 sites that it is upgrading to 5G in 2019 carry 25% of all data across its whole network, but only cover 15% of the U.K. population – comprehensive coverage even of individual cities could still be quite a long way off.
Rival operators are also paving the way to launch commercial 5G services in the UK. Telecommunications group Vodafone recently announced it will launch 5G technology in 12 new cities across the UK during this year.
Vodafone has installed 5G antennas and associated equipment in Birmingham, Glasgow and London ahead of going live.
Vodafone said plans for this year include the launch of 5G in Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton.
O2 and Three are also carrying out 5G trials ahead of a commercial launch.