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EE turns on nine 5G trial sites in East London

EE, part of BT Group, announced today (7 November) that it has gone live with nine 5G trial sites across East London.

The operator states that the trial has encompassed every element of building a 5G network including obtaining planning permission and access agreements, and managing power outputs. The trial will now assess the 5G customer experience.

In a rare move, EE’s announcement shed some light on the practical difficulties associated with 5G deployment. It noted that upgrading cell sites to 4G could be done by repurposing existing antennas, but to upgrade them to 5G, each of them must be fitted with new equipment. The trial has found that Rooftop sites often need significant strengthening to carry the new 50kg 5G antennas – and some sites house three of these. The level of upgrade work required can cause delays in obtaining planning permission, and can necessitate repeat visits, which means multiple access requests to landlords. The company also said that locations for 5G antennas can be dictated by the need to stay below regulated power output levels.

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