EE to launch first commercial 5G network in U.K. May 30

Yolanda Curtis
May 23, 2019

After a controversial few days, Huawei seems to have gotten another kick in the 'nads as it looks like EE will be pulling the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G from its lineup of 5G handsets, and Vodafone is following suit.

And Edinburgh will be at the centre of the roll-out as one of just six cities to get the upgrade first.

Vodafone UK said on Wednesday it had dropped a Huawei 5G smartphone from pre-orders for its new service starting in July, because of uncertainty about long-term support and services for the device.

"We value our close relations with our partners, but recognize the pressure some of them are under, as a result of politically motivated decisions", Huawei said in a statement Wednesday.

The operator has already begun several trials of the new network using the 3.4GHz band, although the lack of supporting 5G capable Smartphones meant that initially these were primarily focused upon 1Gbps+ capable fixed wireless broadband ISP style connections for homes and businesses (here and here).

The decision has prompted a parade of firms to step back from dealings with Huawei, including U.S. internet giant Google, whose Android operating system powers most of the world's smartphones.

The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G - a 5G-enabled version of Huawei's 2018 phablet - had been expected to be part of the first wave of 5G phones to launch in the United Kingdom.

Allera noted that customers can expect speeds of around 150Mbps on average, but will potentially hit up to 1Gbps at quieter times.

"Higher bandwidth and lower latency, coupled with expansive and growing 5G coverage, will enable a more responsive network, enabling truly immersive mobile augmented reality, real-time health monitoring, and mobile cloud gaming".

However, EE does intend to use Huawei within its radio access network (Ran), which allows users to send data to and from the core. "We'll provide updates on any future smartphones in due course".

It said it planned to reach 1,500 sites by the end of 2019.

But Mr Howett thinks that a ban on Huawei could be problematic, not just for EE but for all the UK's operators, because it is in a significant part of their networks.

Ten more towns and cities will get services in 2020, including Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth and Portsmouth.

The first devices EE will offer on its 5G plans include the OnePlus 7 Pro, the Samsung Galaxy S10, the Oppo Reno 5G, the LG V50 ThinQ, a 5G home router and an HTC Wi-Fi device.

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