EE has begun the UK’s first live 5G trial at London’s Canary Wharf. The trial will test mobile devices on the 5G spectrum for coverage, speed and performance.
The telecoms company is using a location in Montgomery Square to test 5G in a real-life situation. About 150,000 people visit the test site area each day. Companies with a presence or headquarters in the test area include Trinity Mirror, Merrill Lynch, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase.
5G represents the next generation of mobile communications technology and should provide major increases in speed over 4G service.
When using 5G, downloads of full-length HD movies to smartphones and tablets should take less than five seconds, which is 25,000 times faster than 3G and 100 times faster than 4G.
EE is using the 3.4GHz spectrum that it acquired at Ofcom’s spectrum auction in April of this year and Huawei hardware to conduct the test.
Fotis Karonis, 5G Technology Lead at the BT Group, which owns EE, said: “This is the latest milestone in our 5G rollout – a live test of our 5G network…We were UK pioneers with 4G, and today, we saw the UK’s first live connections on 5G – this is a huge step forward for our digital infrastructure.”
EE announced that it also plans to test ten additional 5G hotspots as it continues to conduct trials throughout East London later this month.
Last month, the company confirmed that it plans to begin a formal rollout of its 5G service across the UK in 2019.