Launch of First Commercial 5G Network in the UK Marks a European Milestone on the Path to 5G as Global Deployments Intensify
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and EE announced the arrival of commercial 5G services in the UK with the launch of EE’s 5G network and availability of premium 5G devices based on the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform with Snapdragon X50 5G Modem and Qualcomm Technologies’ RF Front-End (RFFE) solutions. The launch marks another significant milestone in the fast-paced and broad roll out of 5G across the globe, with UK consumers now having access to the country’s first commercial 5G network and commercially available 5G smartphones by OnePlus, Oppo and LG powered by the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform with the Snapdragon X50 5G Modem with integrated transceiver and Qualcomm Technologies’ RFFE solutions. EE also announced the availability of the HTC 5G Smart Hub powered by the Snapdragon X50 5G Modem.
The launch of EE’s 5G network and availability of premium 5G devices are expected to enable UK consumers to experience 5G’s enhanced capabilities and connectivity spanning multi-gigabit speeds and ultra-low latency.
The power of 5G and this collaboration was just recently displayed when EE teamed up with Qualcomm Technologies at EE’s launch event to demo an interactive VR experience using footage captured at a recent football match.
EE is expected to switch on its 5G network on May 30th in six cities across the UK (London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester). By the end of 2019, this is anticipated to expand to 10 more cities (Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol), benefitting more consumers country-wide. EE is upgrading more than 100 new sites to 5G every month.
The new 5G network will use band n78, which was auctioned earlier this year in the UK, and EE’s 5G network will be built on top of its award-winning 4G network. This means that EE customers’ overall 5G experience will benefit from the quality of both 5G and 4G, as well as the underlying fixed network. The busiest sites in the UK will feature five 4G carriers supporting 5G. EE anticipates delivering the unprecedented download speeds in UK in 2019.
Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G journey spans many years, driven by early foundational research, ground breaking 5G inventions, leadership in the design of the 3GPP 5G standard, early 5G New Radio (NR) prototypes and two generations of 5G modems, along with a comprehensive modem-to-antenna and RF Front End solution – all of which paved the way for the commercial launches of 5G NR standard-compliant infrastructure, smartphones and other mobile devices happening now in 2019. As a leader in mobile technology, Qualcomm Technologies continues to push the boundaries of 5G, making vital contributions to industry standards and working across a roadmap of new technologies and collaborations to expand the 5G ecosystem and help enable all industry players.
“Qualcomm Technologies is proud to support EE on the launch of the UK’s first commercial 5G network,” said Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Incorporated. “After driving an industry-wide collaborative effort to accelerate the arrival of 5G by one year, it’s rewarding to see commercial networks and devices now rolling out across the globe. We welcome UK consumers to the 5G era and are excited to see them experience 5G’s cutting-edge, transformational potential firsthand.”
“We’re at the bleeding edge of technology with this 5G launch, and that’s exactly where we want to be – enabled by our great relationship with Qualcomm Technologies,” said Marc Allera, chief executive officer, BT’s Consumer business. “Adding 5G to the UK’s number one 4G network will be transformative for consumer and business experiences – in 2019, that’s about creating a more reliable, faster experience. In the years to come 5G is going to be woven into every aspect of society, making lives better, easier and safer.”