EE 5G Lead Page
EE 5G '5GEE' Introduction
EE acquired 40MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum for 5G use in April 2018. EE then launched their commercial 5G service on 30th May 2019, initially in the UK's four nation capitals: London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast and also Birmingham and Manchester. Since then, the 5G coverage has spread to numerous towns and cities as you can see above (Image Copyright EE, April 2021). Speed uplifts over 4G are typically several hundred mbps, leading to some very nice totals. Here's one Derico got:
EE's main 5G approach seen is 8T8R. This has less coverage and less capacity than Massive MIMO (below) but the EMF emission is lower and it can be less challenging to add to masts (weight and windloading), which enables a much faster rollout. These examples in Hull and Manchester use Huawei RRU 5258 for 8T8R N78 and Huawei AOC4518r8v06 antennas to carry the 5G and 2G/3G/4G.
A fully wired EE 5G '5GEE' example in the Marfleet area of Hull.
Huawei 5258 for 8T8R N78 behind Huawei AOC4518r8v06 antenna on this '5GEE' mast.
Schematic showing the RF layout of the EE 8T8R 5G site.
Video about this 8T8R 5G Mast in Hull
A fully wired EE 5G '5GEE' example on Manchester's Bower Street.
Before and after of an EE 5G Mast Upgrade that goes from a pair of single band Kathreins to using Huawei RRU 5258 for 8T8R N78 and Huawei AOC4518r8v06 antennas.
Specifications sheet for the Huawei AOC 4518R8v06 antenna used for EE 8T8R 5G.
5G '5GEE' Massive MIMO
In central London, such as near St Paul's, EE use Massive MIMO for their 5G. Deploying the 5G spectrum with Massive MIMO enables huge amounts of capacity to be provided to an area, while also achieving a pleasing range of coverage considering the higher frequencies compared to 4G.
The 5G Massive MIMO Panel (Huawei AAU5613) is on the left. The GPS antenna is not visible from this angle and on the right is a now wired Huawei ATR for the LTE (4G) 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz that serves 4G customers and as 5G anchor.
Schematic of EE 5G Massive MIMO installation.
700MHz is deployed via Huawei triple band 5509(t) radios.
In January 2020, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued new guidance restricting Huawei's ongoing involvement in UK Mobile Networks. As BT/EE's 2/4G RAN is approximately 2/3 Huawei, the telecoms group required a RAN vendor strategy rethink. In July, further policy was advised which gave a stop purchase date for Huawei 5G equipment and an outright removal date requirement. Curiously, Belfast is the first area to get BT/EE's new RAN vendor - Ericsson.
BT/EE Ericsson 4G+5G sites
One of the first BT/EE Ericsson Massive MIMO 5G sites which uses 32T32R AIRs. BT/EE use the 3278/3278k models. The Huawei AAUs on site are for operator 3.
EE (BT) Ericsson 4G and 5G site in Belfast with Ericsson ERS 8823 (5G N78 8T8R), 4415 2600MHz, 4480 1800MHz+2100MHz feeding the left Huawei AOC antenna. The right antenna carries EE 2G, 3G and 3's services.
EN-DC 5G field test performance on this BT/EE Ericsson 5G site.
700MHz is deployed via Ericsson triple band ERS 2460 radios.
This Hull example is Nokia 32T32R for BT/EE using AEQQs.
Nokia 8T8R uses AZQL/AZQJ radios in a deployment like the Huawei and Ericsson examples.
700MHz capability is deployed via Nokia triple band AHPMDA or AHPMDB radios.
5G Monopole/Street Pole
The modern design of compact pole to support 5G (and (2G)/3G/4G) services for EE and 3: the upper two stacks are used for 5G Massive MIMO antennas, each operator having their own stack, while the lower carry the passive antennas which emit the remaining respective technologies. Image: Mark.