BT’s mobile business EE launches new spectrum into 5G network, as auction concludes
Apr 27, 2021
BT’s mobile business, EE, more than doubles 5G spectrum holdings in Ofcom auction to drive high performance 5G further and faster across the UK
EE first to launch 700MHz spectrum at trial locations and will shortly begin the roll out of additional 3.6GHz capacity
New holdings boost network leadership as EE passes one million active 5G customers
BT’s mobile business, EE, has finalised new 5G spectrum holdings following the conclusion of the second, assignment stage of Ofcom’s auction and will start to launch some of the new spectrum into the 5G network immediately. EE was first to launch 5G, in May 2019, and won 80MHz overall of the 700MHz and 3.6GHz bands that were on offer in the auction.
EE secured 40MHz of 3.6GHz spectrum, doubling current holdings. As the launch band for 5G, 3.4-3.8GHz allows for exceptionally high performance and capacity in areas with denser populations and can be accessed by all 5G handsets. EE has already carried out work on a number of sites to allow the new spectrum to launch soon. EE also secured 20MHz of paired and a further 20MHz of unpaired 700MHz spectrum. 700MHz is new to 5G services in the UK but already used extensively in Europe, and is supported on recent key customer handsets, including the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S21. It will support wider and deeper 5G coverage, including indoors, and help deliver better capacity overall. EE will roll out the 20MHz of paired spectrum extensively over the years ahead and begins trials of the spectrum on a small number of new sites this week.
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