BT and EE could launch the UK’s first 5G services before the end of 2019 − slightly earlier than anyone expected.
“We will look to have a commercial 5G product launched in the next 18 months,” Gavin Patterson, the CEO of BT, told analysts last week, Light Reading reports.
Related: What is 5G?
Until now, most estimates had pointed to a 2020 rollout, at the earliest, for 5G network technology. However, Patterson’s statement could force EE’s main rivals to, ahem, make like the oft-hyped future of mobile connectivity and speed things up.
EE famously got a major headstart on its rivals when it came to the rollout of 4G services in the UK, and it just so happens that the network is regularly rated as the best 4G network for coverage in the UK.
The likes of Vodafone, O2 and Three will be desperate to avoid a repeat.
Related: Best UK mobile network
Earlier this year, BT picked up 40MHz of spectrum in the 3.4GHz band for £303 million. At the same 5G spectrum auction, Vodafone grabbed 50MHz, O2 picked up 40MHz and Three got its hands on 20MHz.
5G will not be all about speed. It’s also expected to decrease latency and improve the reliability of connections, which will be crucial to futuristic technologies like self-driving vehicles.
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