Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
56,951
19,789


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.jpeg

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.

Article Link: BT to Expand 5G to Entire UK by 2028 Using Drones, Satellites, and Portable Cells, Will End 3G Service by 2023
 
  • Love
Reactions: SurferPup

RalfTheDog

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2010
1,728
728
Lagrange Point
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.
 

ksec

macrumors 68020
Dec 23, 2015
2,050
2,306
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.
 

RalfTheDog

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2010
1,728
728
Lagrange Point
Satellites? Over reaching out a bit? Isn't it best just to get rid of legacy spectrum?
Satellites are getting cheep. It costs less than building out infrastructure. The cell signals can be beamed to a fairly narrow target. Those beams can be pointed to places where the traditional towers are offline due to internet outages or lack of power. Yes, they are also reusing all of the 3g spectrum.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sean J

iphonehype

Contributor
Sep 14, 2012
940
620
Would be interesting to see how 5G can work via Drones, especially how low they need to fly for it to work. I wonder how latency will work with Drones too.
 

Pezimak

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2021
1,193
828
I have no doubt in my mind that they will achieve the more then 90% geographical coverage this is aiming for.
But unless you need high data allowances it won't be worth joining EE or BT as both charge a high amount and put prices up yearly mid contract.
But the new 1P Mobile tariff with 50GB of data for £15 a month could be good value on this network. Although I've never used their services personally.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: KeithBN

Pezimak

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2021
1,193
828
I have no doubt in my mind that they will achieve the more then 90% geographical coverage this is aiming for.
But unless you need high data allowances it won't be worth joining EE or BT as both charge a high amount and put prices up yearly mid contract.
But the new 1P Mobile tariff with 50GB of data for £15 a month could be good value on this network. Although I've never used their services.
If they manage to get this 5G network as they promise I would move my home broadband over to it. Because I don't have fibre to my door and most likely won't get it for many years.
 

ChromeCloud

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2009
284
576
Italy
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.
Cells have to be connected to the internet themselves to offer wireless internet connection to phones and other cellular-enabled devices. What would these drones be connected to if the area has no power or internet?

Even if the drones could directly connect to satellites through a really fast link (which I doubt is possible in the near future), they would need huge batteries to power the radios to serve hundreds or thousands of devices at the same time.

Just to give you an idea, femtocells can serve around 4-8 clients connected simultaneously (source) and they consume around 10W of power (source)... Then you have to power the link to the satellite (around 100-150W are used by current Starlink antennas). And on top of that you have to spend energy to keep the thing floating in the sky. And you also need to factor in the energy spent to fly the drones to the target location and back.

It just doesn't work.

And even if theoretically you could find a way to make it work, it would be way more expensive to deploy and less reliable than any other portable solution that doesn't need to float in the sky.

It all just sounds like an elaborate excuse to procrastinate investments to improve cell coverage where it is needed. It's like they are saying: "Coverage sucks right now when a lot of people gather around this area, but don't worry, one day we will fix the problem. With drones!". LOL

EDIT:

I apologize, I made the mistake of thinking they wanted to use drones to provide a boost of bandwidth in overcrowded/underserved areas and temporary gatherings. That wouldn't be realistic.

Instead they plan on using tethered drones in special situations to basically bring a wired base station to a difficult to reach location by drone transport (which makes sense and can actually work).
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: DrV

giv-as-a-ciggy-kent

macrumors regular
Feb 22, 2020
146
202
Aus
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

this reeks of desperation. Why are they pushing this rollout so hard? Drones and vans to cover gaps? Wtf
 

foobarbaz

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2007
694
1,137
5G is a flat out scam from the telcos that provides no meaningful benefit to users
All these claims that 5G are a game changer are overblown, but so is your counterpoint.

5G simple means more bandwidth for every user in increasingly crowded cells (same as 4G before it). That's a clear and measurable benefit.

The average user doesn't need 5G today. But there will be a time when 4G just won't be good enough even for them. If it takes them another 7 years to build the network, it's certainly good that they've already started.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.