EE Refarms 3G Spectrum to 4G as it Prepares for 5G Launch

EE Refarms 3G Spectrum to 4G as it Prepares for 5G Launch Image Credit: EE

EE, part of the BT Group, said that it is turning 3G signal into 4G on more than 500 mobile towers in the next six months to enable the maximum performance on the top smartphones being released in 2018, as more customers demand high speed mobile data connections.

EE is converting mobile spectrum from carrying slow data and calls on 3G to giving customers superfast data and crystal-clear calls on 4G, to make sure its customers are getting the best possible mobile experience. The upgrades mean faster mobile data speeds, and a more reliable connection.

The use of 3G – 2100MHz – spectrum to power 4G will give the upgraded sites five ‘carriers’ of 4G – more than any other UK operator. The latest smartphones can support connections to all five of those ‘carriers’ at the same time, with ‘5CA’ – the latest smartphone technology innovation.

The sites that EE is upgrading from 3G to 4G are the ‘hotspots’ in the EE network, where there is the greatest demand for mobile internet. The sites are mainly spread across London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Exeter, Hull, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast. EE will switch on its 5G network in 2019. 5G sites will be built on top of the upgraded sites with maximum amount of 4G spectrum, in the busiest areas.

Marc Allera, CEO, BT
Our customers want a fast and reliable 4G connection, and that’s what we’re working to give them. We are using the investment we made in 3G spectrum nearly 15 years ago to give customers today a great experience with the latest smartphones on 4G, and build our foundation for 5G in 2019. 

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at), or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma


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