UK operator, EE, has switched on its 5G network in limited areas in Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London and Manchester. Since 5G promises better connectivity, the BBC thought it would be a great idea to demonstrate its capabilities by broadcasting over 5G. However, it had some hiccups before they went live.
The actual stream had to be delayed because their live broadcast system had gone down. Turns out that their SIM card had run out of data, perhaps probably due to repeated testing. Eventually, they managed to perform the live stream smoothly with great clarity after sorting the issue out. BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones reported that he got 260Mbps from where he was standing and the speeds may increase or drop depending on location.
When another BBC correspondent tried to perform another 5G live broadcast, the connection was very choppy. Sarah Walton reported that she was getting speeds around 40Mbps, which sounds a lot like 4G. The broadcast had to end abruptly as there was no visual after 55 seconds.
This shows that EE’s 5G coverage is still very spotty and it will only get better over time. The thing that’s worth mentioning is that data consumption may increase on 5G if you use your device more frequently or if you stream videos at a higher quality. Running repeated speedtests on a high-speed network can also deplete GBs of data fairly quickly. If you’re going to watch a lot of high-resolution videos, it would be recommended to get a plan that offers more or unlimited quota for video streaming.
At the moment, EE is offering the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G as their first 5G smartphone on contract. The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Oppo Reno 5G and LG V50 ThinQ will be offered later on its network. The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G was supposed to be included during the launch but it was excluded following the recent restrictions by the US Government.
On EE, the 5G plans start from 59GBP (about RM312) which comes with 10GB of data and 2 swappable benefits which you can use to enable live football streaming subscription, unlimited video pass, unlimited music pass and international roaming pass. The highest plan is a 79GBP (about RM418) option that gives you 120GB of data plus 3 swappable benefits.