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EE to switch on UK's first 5G network on May 30 – CNET

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EE will be the UK’s first network to switch on commercial 5G.

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UK mobile carrier EE announced its plans to launch 5G in the UK on Wednesday. The network will be switched on on May 30, with the first 5G phones available to pre-order from today.

EE’s initial 5G rollout will focus on six cities (London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester), with promises to expand to 19 cities and 1,500 sites by the end of the year. EE CEO Marc Allera promised EE 5G customers would experience average download speeds of 156mbps. It will be “like having a lane of the motorway all to yourself,” he said, speaking at an event in London.

EE’s announcement on Wednesday means it’s the first UK network to launch commercial 5G. Following swiftly in its footsteps on July 3 is Vodafone. Three and O2 are also expected to launch 5G networks this year, but no dates have been set at this stage.

5G will open up a whole new world of tech-powered experiences, including autonomous vehicles, smart cities and VR. But it also promises to improve our day-to-day experiences of using our phones. Not only will it boost data speeds, but it should improve coverage as networks continue to get to increasingly congested.

“5G will not replace 4G, it becomes another asset in our network,” said Allera. He promised the network wouldn’t throttle its 4G to make its 5G seem faster, but said that in the initial stages the two networks would work together to provide customers with the best experience.

This story is developing, please check back for more…

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