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
20 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
20 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
20 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
20 months ago
Drones? What are they smoking?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rictus007 Avatar
20 months ago

Drones? What are they smoking?
People won’t be able to burn the drones?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
incoherent_1 Avatar
20 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)

Popular Stories

Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.3.1 Update for iPhone as Wait for iOS 16.4 Beta Continues

Thursday February 2, 2023 6:41 am PST by
Apple appears to be preparing an iOS 16.3.1 update for the iPhone, based on evidence of the software in our website's analytics logs this week. It's unclear when the update will be released, but it will likely be available at some point in February. The same logs have accurately foreshadowed the release of several previous updates, including iOS 16.0.3 and iOS 16.1.1 most recently, so they...
dewey airtag

Report Highlights Danger of Using AirTags for Tracking Dogs

Monday January 30, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
AirTags may be a convenient way for tracking dogs that might get off leash or otherwise lost, but there are dangers associated with the practice, as outlined by a report from The Wall Street Journal. At 1.26 inches in diameter, AirTags are able to fit easily on a dog's collar, but that size also makes the tracking devices small enough to swallow, at least for a medium to large-sized dog, and ...
MKBHD HomePod 2 White Ring Stain

New HomePod Can Still Stain Some Wooden Surfaces

Tuesday January 31, 2023 8:29 am PST by
When the original HomePod launched in 2018, it was discovered that the speaker can leave white rings on some wooden surfaces. Now, well-known YouTuber Marques Brownlee has confirmed that the issue persists to a lesser extent with the new HomePod. In a side-by-side test, he showed that the white second-generation HomePod left a white ring on the wooden surface that he placed the speaker on,...
Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
iOS 16

When Will the iOS 16.4 Beta Be Released?

Wednesday February 1, 2023 11:09 am PST by
It's been more than a week since Apple released the iOS 16.3 update, and typically, new iOS betas follow launches within a day or so. We were expecting Apple to provide the first beta iOS 16.4 on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, but that hasn't happened. Tuesdays are the days that we most often see betas, though Monday and Wednesday happen now and then, and most often betas come...