EE, a part of BT and Britain’s biggest mobile operator says, its 5G network would rely on equipment made by China’s Huawei, at least for the first few years
However, like Vodafone, they will pull out the Huawei smartphone from its 5G launch line-up. This is largely because of the uncertainty surrounding Google Android’s support, in the wake of the current stand that the US has taken on the Chinese firm
EE Chief Executive Marc Allera told Reuters that its planned 5G launch was “the start of the UK’s 5G journey and great news for our customers that want and need the best connections”.
In Britain, the 5G launch will kick off from six cities including London, Cardiff and Edinburgh switched on next week. Ten more cities will be added on by the end of the year, he added. “We do believe it is important for the UK that we are in the pack of the leading nations (for 5G),” he said. “At the moment we have no instructions [from the government] to change our plans.” EE aims to have 1,500 5G sites by the end of 2019, targeting the busiest areas of the busiest cities, he added.
Meanwhile, BT Group’s technology chief Howard Watson said 5G would start before Huawei was totally removed from the core of its network. “We are launching 5G with Huawei in the radio access network and we are using an upgraded version of that existing core, which will then … be migrated away from,” Watson said.
5G will take networking straight into another plane. Average speeds that 5G will deliver at launch would be about 200Mbps, five times faster than typical top 4G speeds.
After the US barred Huawei’s equipment form its networks, Britain was set to allow Huawei some participation in the radio part of 5G networks, except in the intelligent core. However, a firm decision has not been announced, and on the other side, the U.S. and some politicians are still pushing their agenda for a complete ban on Huawei.