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.

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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: BT, EE

Top Rated Comments

RalfTheDog Avatar
35 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
35 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
35 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
35 months ago
Drones? What are they smoking?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rictus007 Avatar
35 months ago

Drones? What are they smoking?
People won’t be able to burn the drones?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
incoherent_1 Avatar
35 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)

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