BT to Expand 5G to Entire UK by 2028 Using Drones, Satellites, and Portable Cells, Will End 3G Service by 2023

The British network carrier BT has today announced that EE will offer 5G connectivity anywhere in the UK by 2028 as the company set out its plans for the future.

bt logo
3G services offered by EE, BT Mobile, and Plusnet will be phased out by 2023, by which time the company will have built a new 5G core network. 3G usage has been in steady decline in recent years, now representing less than two percent of all data traffic over the EE network. The legacy 3G spectrum will be used to enhance 5G capacity in the future.

By the mid-2020s, BT will fully integrate fiber, Wi-Fi, and mobile network infrastructure for more secure and reliable connectivity. This will be "the UK's first fully converged network," which will allow BT to build next-generation fiber and 5G networks simultaneously.

To extend mobile coverage, EE is expanding 4G connectivity deeper into rural areas, adding over 4,500 square miles of new coverage by 2025. In parallel EE's 5G network, which launched two years ago, will grow to cover half of the UK population by early 2023, four years ahead of the British Government's target. 5G is expected to surpass the geographic reach of 4G to become the UK's largest digital network by 2028, providing a signal to over 90 percent of the UK's landmass.

To reach its goals, BT will deploy its recently obtained 700MHz 5G spectrum to the majority of EE sites. It will also use Neutral Host systems to support better 4G and 5G coverage in busy environments like airports, stadia, and campuses. Portable cells in a fleet of rapid response vehicles will provide temporary mobile connectivity to customers when they need it, and BT is also intending to use more air and space technologies, including drones and Low Earth Orbit satellites, having signed an early agreement with satellite internet company OneWeb last month.

Tags: EE, BT

Top Rated Comments

RalfTheDog Avatar
16 months ago

Drones? What are they smoking?
I am sure it will be for short term femptocell networks. This would be fantastic for large outdoor events. They could even migrate the drones to the area of the event with the most people at any one given time. It would also be useful for natural disasters and such. You could deploy a large number of drones over an area that has no power or internet.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jgbr Avatar
16 months ago
They couldn't organise a coffee in a coffee shop.

Making a decent phone call or having a 4G data connection is hard enough in parts of the country!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ksec Avatar
16 months ago

5G is a flat out scam from the telcos that provides no meaningful benefit to users
Not really, Media doesn't understand 5G and Telco didn't do a good job in explaining their story. ( Cant blame them since they dont really need to in a sense )

5G provides lots of benefits to user and carrier, from capacity, cost reduction, deployment, spectrum efficiency. that is why the discontinuation of 3G is so much earlier compare to 4G and 2G era.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChromeCloud Avatar
16 months ago
Drones? What are they smoking?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rictus007 Avatar
16 months ago

Drones? What are they smoking?
People won’t be able to burn the drones?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
incoherent_1 Avatar
16 months ago
A story about both 5G *and* BT?!

::grabs popcorn:: This comments section is going to be a heck of a ride.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

transport for london

London Underground to Gain Full Mobile Phone Coverage by 2024

Tuesday June 22, 2021 1:35 am PDT by
London Underground passengers will be able to get mobile coverage across the rail network by the end of 2024, it has been announced. In a press release, Transport for London (TfL) said the capital's Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road and Bank stations would be among the first fully connected stations by the end of the year, followed by Tottenham Court Road, Euston, and Camden Town by the...
tmobilelogo

T-Mobile's 'Ultra Capacity' 5G Now Covers 200 Million People

Monday November 15, 2021 3:33 pm PST by
T-Mobile today announced that its high-speed "Ultra Capacity 5G" is now available to 200 million people across the United States, with the carrier hitting the milestone weeks ahead of schedule. Ultra Capacity 5G is T-Mobile's higher-speed 5G network that's faster than the Extended Range 5G network that covers 308 million T-Mobile customers. While Extended Range 5G offers LTE-like speeds,...
verizonlogo

Verizon Shutting Down 3G Network on December 31, 2022

Tuesday March 30, 2021 10:53 am PDT by
Verizon is planning to shut down its 3G network at the end of 2022, effectively ending 3G support, the company announced today. Verizon has pushed back the sunsetting of its 3G network several times now, but it sounds like a concrete end date has finally been established. We will turn off the last of the 3G CDMA network on December 31, 2022, months after our competitors have shut off their...
iphone 13 pro display shot

mmWave 5G on iPhone 13 Remains Limited to U.S. Models

Tuesday September 14, 2021 6:01 pm PDT by
While it was rumored by multiple sources that iPhone 13 models would support mmWave 5G in additional countries, it turns out that mmWave remains limited to iPhone 13 models sold in the U.S., as was the case with iPhone 12 models. Apple's cellular compatibility page confirms that only U.S. models of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro support mmWave 5G bands. In addition, on Apple's product pages ...
the new imac g4 feature

iMac G4 With Revolutionary Floating Display Announced 20 Years Ago Today

Friday January 7, 2022 8:55 am PST by
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Apple announcing the iMac G4. Unveiled on January 7, 2002, the iMac G4 featured a unique design with a flat-screen panel mounted on an adjustable arm and a hemisphere base housing the computer's internal components. Nicknamed the Lamp or Sunflower, the iMac G4 was innovative for its time as an all-in-one computer with a flat screen that can be moved around ...
5g verizon

Verizon Announces Plans to Expand 5G Ultra Wideband to 1,700 Cities in January, Offers Improved 5G Plans

Tuesday January 4, 2022 5:13 pm PST by
Verizon today announced plans to expand its 5G Ultra Wideband technology to more than 100 million people across 1,700 cities in the United States, offering 5G speeds that are up to 10x faster than 4G LTE speeds and that can hit up to one gigabit per second. According to Verizon, "nearly one in three Americans" will be living in areas where faster 5G speeds are available, but while the...
iphone 3g

UK to Shut Down 2G and 3G Networks by 2033

Wednesday December 8, 2021 6:57 am PST by
The United Kingdom will phase out and turn off its 2G and 3G networks by 2033, the British government today announced (via TechRadar). BT already committed to ending its 3G service by 2023, but now all major carriers in the UK are in agreement to retire 2G and 3G over the next decade. The networks are due to be switched off as part of plans to accelerate the roll out of 5G across the...
iPhone 12 Most Popular Feature

Apple Maintains 5G Market Lead in Q1 2021 Despite Vivo and Samsung Gains

Thursday June 17, 2021 3:28 am PDT by
Apple shipped an estimated 40.4 million iPhone 12 devices during the first quarter of 2021, according to new data shared by Strategy Analytics. The figure suggests Apple has maintained its grip on the global 5G smartphone market, despite indicating a 23% dip compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, when Apple shipped 52.2 million units. Apple enjoyed booming sales in the 5G market in the...

Popular Stories

apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
tim cook spring loaded event

Six Major Products to Expect From Apple in 2023

Sunday September 25, 2022 10:57 am PDT by
As we approach the end of a busy product release season for Apple with only new iPads and Macs left to be announced over the next month or so, we're also setting our sights on 2023. Apple is rumored to have several major products in the pipeline for next year, including new Macs, a new HomePod, a VR/AR headset, and so much more. Other than new iPhones and Apple Watches, which are expected...
apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...
iPhone 14 Pro Sports Scores Dynamic Island

iPhone 14 Pro Features Live Sports Scores in Dynamic Island on iOS 16.1

Monday September 26, 2022 7:52 am PDT by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature that allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island. Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Paul Bradford ...
iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature

Verizon iPhone 14 Pro Customers Reporting Cellular Connection Issues

Monday September 26, 2022 6:23 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping. Several threads on Reddit (1,2,3) and the MacRumors forums chronicle issues faced by Verizon customers and Apple's latest iPhone. According to user reports, signal strength on the iPhone 14 Pro is unreliable and weak, while other...
Tim Cook Apple Event

Gurman: New iPads and Macs May Be Announced Through Press Releases, No October Event

Sunday September 25, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Apple may decide to release its remaining products for 2022, which include updated iPad Pro, Mac mini, and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, through press releases on its website rather than a digital event, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that Apple is currently "likely to release its remaining 2022 products via press releases,...
Stage Manager Extension Thumb 1

New iPadOS 16.1 Beta Expands Stage Manager to Older iPad Pro Models, Delays External Display Support

Tuesday September 27, 2022 10:24 am PDT by
The most recent beta of iPadOS 16.1 expands the controversial Stage Manager feature to older iPads, allowing it to work with iPad Pro models that have an A12X or A12Z chip, according to information Apple provided to Engadget. The beta also removes the external display support from Stage Manager for the current time, with the feature set to return in a later iPadOS 16 update. Apple's...
iOS 16

Everything New in the Latest iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 Betas: Stage Manager Expansion, Wallpaper Tweaks and More

Tuesday September 27, 2022 11:36 am PDT by
Apple today released new betas of iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 to developers, tweaking some of the functionality that's been introduced in prior betas and in the case of iPadOS 16.1, adding a major new feature to Stage Manager. We've rounded up everything new in both betas below. Wallpaper Updates Apple has updated the Wallpaper section of the Settings app to allow users to swap between...
john meyer ultra

Apple Watch Ultra Praised by Watch World Tastemaker John Mayer

Monday September 26, 2022 4:42 am PDT by
Apple Watch Ultra has been endorsed by American musician and famous watch collector John Mayer, who has been showing off the new device on his Instagram account. "Been wearing the Apple Watch Ultra for a week... and it's great," writes Mayer over a photo of the watch. "The first Apple Watch that excited me as a mechanical watch collector." "It's loaded with capability and what I call...