Belfast's 5G network has been switched on, but the coverage isn't so good

  • The 5G network has been launched in Belfast to provide extreme mobile Internet speeds for users with compatible devices, but the coverage map looks a little sparse.

    Belfast is one of several launch cities for the UK's 5G mobile data network, which is switching on today for users with 5G compatible smart devices. The network has been in development for the past several years and is beginning to roll out across the country now, with global rollout happening in several countries over the next few years.

    EE's 5G coverage maps show patchy availability of the service throughout Belfast, with 5G available mostly on the outskirts of the city, in a small patch in the city centre, and in the harbour area. Users outside the 5G zones will see their signal automatically revert to the current 4G technology.

    While 5G can theoretically deliver 20Gbit Internet connections with latencies as low as 1ms, the base stations in the UK have fibre connections running into them that will limit the network's performance. Each station has only 10Gbit to share among all 5G customers and users can expect latencies of 20ms or more, which is still much faster than the 4G network and is expected to drop to 10ms over the next ten years.

    The only network providing 5G here is EE, and the choice of compatible devices is highly limited. The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G has been pulled from the EE store, leaving only the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G available to buy now (official launch June 4th) and the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, OPPO Reno 5G, and LG V50 ThinQ available for pre-order.

    You can also register your interest now for the 5GEE Home Router and the 5GEE WiFi streaming device and wireless hotspot, though no further details on those have been released and availability is unknown.



    Source: EE, BBC News

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