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UK Carriers Step Up 5G Rollout Plans, Seek Better Licensing Conditions

May 13, 2019 / Anne Morris

Wireless carriers in the United Kingdom recently updated their 5G launch plans that showed this year will be pivotal for those deployments. BT, which owns wireless carrier EE, last week flagged the “imminent” launch of its 5G network. EE said late last year that it would launch service in 16 cities by the end of 2019, and now says it’s on track to go live in all previously announced cities this year “with a range of device partners.” Telefonica-owned O2 UK, which previously announced plans to launch 5G this year, announced a collaboration with the Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) that it expects to “play a vital role enabling 5G.” However, that initial work with WIG is focused on improving 4G LTE coverage indoors and in public spaces. Three UK, meanwhile, said its second 5G site has gone live in central London and indicated that it intends to start rolling out services to customers in the second half of the year. It also said testing had started on its new “fully virtualized cloud core network with Nokia.”