EE switches on the UK's first 5G phone network in six cities

EE has switched on its 5G coverage in six cities around the country, giving customers access to blazing fast internet speeds.

At the moment, the coverage is limited to London, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester. Other cities and areas of the country will follow as the rollout continues and other phone networks join the fray.

5G technology is the next generation of mobile network and is expected to offer internet speeds several times that of current generation 4G.

Once fully functional, users could theoretically hit 1Gbps, allowing them to download a full HD movie in three seconds. Along with faster speeds, 5G should bring in a more reliable connection as more people can access more data at the same time.

In order to access 5G, customers will need to have compatible handsets and also pay for one of EE’s 5G-ready data plans. Prices start at £54 a month on contract.

A number of 5G-capable handsets are available from Samsung, OnePlus, LG, HTC and Oppo, but Huawei has been left off amid ongoing tensions between the US and the Chinese company.

EE is planning to reach 1,500 sites by the end of 2019, including the ‘busiest parts’ of Bristol, Coventry, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

The operator celebrated today’s launch on Wednesday evening with a 5G-powered gig by London rapper Stormzy.

Stormy’s gig was powered by 5G (Doug Peters/PA Wire)

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division, said: ‘This is the start of the UK’s 5G journey and great news for our customers that want and need the best connections.

‘We’ve started with 5G in some of the busiest parts of the UK, the widest range of 5G devices in the UK, and plans that give customers the best mobile connection and great benefits.’

Fellow mobile operator Vodafone has confirmed it will launch 5G across seven cities in the UK on July 3, with another 12 cities to follow by the end of the year.

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