EE today switched on the UK’s first live 5G trial in Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf. The trial will test 5G spectrum and devices for performance, speed and coverage.
High capacity zone testing is a critical part of EE’s 5G launch program, with the first phase of its 5G roll-out targeting “hotspots” across the UK – the places that have the greatest number of people using the most mobile data, the company said.
An EE spokesman told Computer Business Review: “The site is massive MIMO – 64×64. So far this morning, we’re seeing around 1.3Gbps on the test equipment. That’s aggregating our 40MHz of 3.4GHz NR, with 15MHz of 2100 LTE and 15MHz of 2600 LTE. The Huawei CPE we’re using supports 5MHz of LTE and the 40 of 3.4 NR, and that’s getting around 600Mbps.”
EE came out of Ofcom’s first 5G spectrum auction with 40Mhz of 3.4GHz spectrum, specifically the 3540MHz – 3580MHz part of the band. It paid £302,592,000 for that.
It won more of the 3.4GHz band – which is ideal for 5G – than Three (which won just 20MHz), but the same amount as O2 and less than Vodafone, which won 50Mhz.
EE 5G Trial
EE will make ten more sites live for consumer and business technology trials in east London later this month.
Fotis Karonis, 5G Technology Lead at BT Group, said in a press release: “This is the latest milestone in our 5G rollout – a live test of our 5G network, in a hugely busy ‘hotspot’, where we know there’s going to be demand from customers for increased mobile capacity.”
Mark Nallen, Head of Technology and Innovation, Canary Wharf Group, said: “Staying at the forefront of connectivity and new technologies is critical to our community, and that’s why we’re partnering with BT Group to support delivery of 5G. The consumers who live and work here will benefit from being better connected, and the enterprises based here will have the chance to partner with BT Group to understand the full capabilities of 5G.”
Canary Wharf is home to Level39, the tech community of 1,250 start-ups with a diverse range of specialisms including fintech and cybersecurity. During the trial, Canary Wharf Group will also be launching Wood Wharf, a major new mixed-use development designed for residential, retail and London’s technology businesses.