EE already has the fastest 4G mobile network in the UK and now has 5G in its sights with exciting end-to-end speed tests of 2.8Gbps.
5G is the next generation of mobile broadband, slated to appear for general sale in the UK by 2020.
We should see download speeds to smartphones of up to 1Gbps generally available, giving the average user the ability to stream HD content anywhere in the UK and load mulitple data-heavy applications at once.
EE’s tests are significant as one of the first real-world tests of what 5G can really do.
End-to-end tests are especially revealing as they can tell us what download and upload speeds we can expect between devices, rather than just one phone or tablet sending data in one direction.
We’re using our experience in cutting edge 4G technologies and our dedicated partnership approach to ensure technology leadership in 5G.
The network architecture we’ve proven today is a huge step forward, and will drive our ambitious rollout timetable to be first for 5G.”
In order to deliver the consistent 2.8Gbps downlink throughput across the end-to-end 5G architecture, EE linked its fully virtualised 5G core network to 100MHz of 3.5GHz test spectrum via the proof-of-concept Huawei 5G baseband unit. The consistent 2.8Gbps speeds and sub 5ms latency were delivered end-to-end, rather than just across the air interface.- Tom Bennett: Director of Network Services & Devices, EE
In September 2017 EE were the latest network to pile on the pressure on Ofcom to remove the 37% spectrum limit for the amount that any one company can own.
Ofcom has a responsibility to make sure that 5G is open and available to as may people as possible, not locked behind high prices or one monopoly owner.
The UK government has its own 5G network testing ongoing with three universities, spending £16m to see what is possible.
But private business might well get there faster than civil servants.
Vodafone, one of the big four networks that control the mobile airwaves along with Three, O2 and EE, have already announced plans to splash £1.8bn on testing 5G.