EE 5G network reaches 50% coverage of UK population

EE says its 5G mobile network has now reached more than 50% of the UK population, a feat it says it is the first network to achieve.

The mobile operator, which is part of the BT Group, began rolling out 5G coverage in 2019.

5G technology is significantly faster than previous generations of mobile communications and is capable of handling more data at once, meaning users can download or stream content much more quickly, and as a result, is also seen by experts as a pathway to the wider introduction of data-intensive innovations such as autonomous vehicles and remote surgery in years to come.

“Today’s milestone is a huge achievement in our 5G journey,” Marc Allera, the boss of the BT Group consumer division, said.

“EE was the first network to launch 5G in the UK and now we’re the first mobile network operator to take the technology to 50% of the UK population.

“Our ambitions for 5G don’t stop here. We’ll continue to invest in our network to provide our customers with unrivalled connectivity.

“As part of its ongoing network investment, EE has pledged to offer 5G anywhere in the UK by 2028 through its macro network and ‘on demand’ connectivity solutions.”

The mobile network also announced that, ahead of the summer holidays, it has gone live with or improved existing 5G services across a number of locations in the UK with expected high summer football.

An aerial view of Blackpool
EE has gone live with or improved existing 5G services across a number of locations with expected high summer football, including Blackpool (PA)

The company said Blackpool, Clacton-on-Sea, Cowes, Eastbourne, Exeter, Falmouth, Hastings, Inverness, Minehead, Morecambe, Plymouth and Poole were among the locations included.

Clitheroe, Exmouth, Great Malvern, Pontypridd, Ross-on-Wye, Salisbury, St Austell and Tiverton had also seen 5G go live or their services improved.

Responding to the announcement, digital infrastructure minister Julia Lopez said: “I am delighted to see EE has made good progress rolling out 5G to half of the country.

“The technology, which can be up to 20 times faster than 4G, will help us in our aims to level up our economy and unleash the potential of communities across the UK.

“We are working alongside industry to boost rural coverage through a £1 billion deal with mobile phone operators and are developing a new strategy to boost further investment in 5G and help operators rapidly expand their networks.”