Mobile telco EE, part of the BT Group, has switched on its first live 5G trial site in Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, London. This will be the UK’s first live 5G trial, and is a major milestone in the roll-out of the next generation of mobile networks.
With 150,000 people coming to the Canary Wharf estate every day, the site is one of the most popular regions in the country and attracts consumers and businesses that require world-class connectivity.
High-capacity zone testing is a critical part of EE’s 5G launch programme, with the first phase of roll-out targeting ‘hotspots’ across the UK – the places that have the greatest number of people using the most mobile data. EE will make ten more sites live for consumer and business technology trials in east London later this month.
“This is the latest milestone in our 5G rollout – a live test of our 5G network, in a hugely busy ‘hotspot’, where we know there’s going to be demand from customers for increased mobile capacity,” explained Fotis Karonis, 5G Technology Lead at BT Group. “With constant upgrades to 4G, and laying the foundations for 5G, we’re working to always be able to deliver what our customers need – both consumers and the vertical industries that will make the greatest use of 5G. We were UK pioneers with 4G and today we saw the UK’s first live connections on 5G – this is a huge step forward for our digital infrastructure.”
“Staying at the forefront of connectivity and new technologies is critical to our community, and that’s why we’re partnering with BT Group to support delivery of 5G,” added Mark Nallen, Head of Technology and Innovation, Canary Wharf Group. “The consumers who live and work here will benefit from being better connected, and the enterprises based here will have the chance to partner with BT Group to understand the full capabilities of 5G.”
Canary Wharf Group has a long history of supporting innovation relating to digital infrastructure and mobile technology. It is home to Level39, the tech community of 1,250 start-ups with a diverse range of specialisms including fintech and cybersecurity. During the trial, Canary Wharf Group will also be launching Wood Wharf, a major new mixed-use development designed for residential, retail and London’s technology businesses.
The trial is part of EE’s journey to a smart, converged network, enabled by 5G. It will establish 5G coverage from the site, and the performance of 5G ‘New Radio’ running over the new 3.4GHz spectrum, acquired in the Ofcom auction earlier in 2018.