EE begins 5G deployment on 700MHz band
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
View of Morecambe Beach from promenade inc seagull Morecambe will be one of the first locations to benefit from Ofcom's spectrum auction (credit: photoeverywhere.co.uk)

BT-owned mobile operator EE has announced it will begin rolling out 5G mobile broadband coverage across the newly released 700MHz band.

From October, EE users in Redditch, Morecambe and Cramlington will be able to access ultrafast 5G-based broadband on the spectrum released as part of Ofcom’s £1.4bn spectrum auction earlier this year.

EE was the biggest spender at the April auction and invested £452m to gain the license for spectrum blocks covering 723-733 MHz, 778-788 MHz; 738-758 MHz and 3680-3720 MHz.

According to the company, the 700MHz band, which was formerly used for Digital Terrestrial TV services, is “ideal for delivering wide geographic coverage” because related signals tend to travel further and penetrate better into buildings.

EE said it would use the lower frequency band in combination with the 800-900MHz carrier aggregation bands to focus on improving broadband speeds in rural areas. EE is part of the government’s Shared Rural Network which has pledged to provide guaranteed coverage to 280,000 premises and 16,000km of roads.

David Salam, director of mobile at EE, said: “By further enhancing the indoor 5G coverage we provide, we’re helping boost the experience for those with the latest smartphones, allowing them to get the most from them in more places across the UK.”

As part of the growth into the 700MHz band, EE has claimed it will cover “over half the population by early 2023” and expand its 5G network to pass the geographic reach of 4G becoming “the UK’s largest digital network by 2028, providing signal to over 90% of UK landmass”.

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