Mobile operators EE and O2 UK have each announced an expansion to the coverage for their respective 5G networks. For its part, O2 UK revealed that, having continued to roll out 5G ‘at pace’, it was now offering the next generation of mobile broadband connectivity in over 150 towns and cities nationwide. New locations covered by the cellco’s infrastructure include Bournemouth, Cheltenham, Doncaster and Southampton, while it also noted that it has increased its 5G coverage footprint ‘significantly’ in bigger cities such as London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Bristol, Liverpool and Manchester.
Meanwhile, EE has announced that that it is now offering 5G connectivity in 13 new UK towns, including Halifax, Leamington Spa and St Albans, bringing the total number of towns and cities within its 5G network footprint to 125. While that figure is lower than that announced by its rival, in a separate blog post released in tandem to the official press release, Marc Allera, CEO Consumer Division at EE parent company BT Group, stressed the need for customers to be able to trust network claims.
To that end, the executive highlighted that during its initial 5G rollout EE is only announcing new locations when it has ‘meaningful levels of coverage’, assessed by what he called ‘clear benchmarks and strict criteria’. Further, Allera also confirmed that during the initial 5G rollout phase it is only announcing coverage in locations with a minimum population of 10,000 people, within which the cellco must be delivering 5G coverage to at least a third of that local population, as well as the centre of the location. Notably, in aiming criticism at its rivals, it was claimed that were EE to loosen its criteria ‘like some of its competitors’, it could claim to be offering 5G in ‘around 200 unique locations across the UK’.