Monday, November 12, 2018

EE activates nine 5G trial sites in London

EE, the UK’s number one mobile network and part of BT Group, activated nine 5G trial sites are now live across East London. The company also has a live 5G trial site in Canary Wharf, and new device functionality is being tested in its state-of-the-art Borehamwood test lab.

EE said its preliminary 5G work has so far encompassed every element of building a new 5G network, from obtaining planning permission and access agreements, through to managing power outputs. The trial will go on to assess the customer experience of new 5G spectrum.


Some lessons:

  • Rooftop sites often need significant strengthening to carry the new 50kg 5G antennas – and some sites house three of these
  • The level of upgrade work required can cause delays in obtaining planning permission, and can necessitate repeat visits, which means multiple access requests to landlords
  • Location for 5G antennas can be dictated by the need to stay below regulated power output levels

Howard Watson, BT CTIO, said: “Deploying this brand new layer of our EE mobile network is far from straightforward, and this trial has helped us to understand – and learn how to overcome – the significant challenges that we’ll face in the coming years. We’re also learning about the coverage we can achieve with 5G New Radio on our new 3.4GHz spectrum, both indoors and in densely cluttered streets.”

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