Three, UK mobile operator announced that it would launch its 5G broadband service in London in August and later span across 25 other towns before the end of 2019. The firm hopes to collaborate with BT’s EE and Vodaphone in launching this service.
The firm said it would invest $2.55b for the 5G upgrade as well as to improve network infrastructure in major cities, while the cloud core network would be provided by Nokia. Since the ban on Huawei, Nokia has benefited greatly, Last week, Softbank announced that it opted for Nokia and Ericsson for its 5G network deployment over Huawei which was a vendor for its 4G network upgrade.
“It’s clear that consumers and businesses want more and more data. We have worked hard over a long period of time to be able to offer the best end-to-end 5G experience. 5G is a game changer for Three.”
EE, last month launched in selected cities in the UK and hopes to extend its service to other cities. Users who want to enjoy the 5G service in the UK would have to purchase new phones compatible with the upgraded service. Vodaphone says it will launch on July 3. Given the tensions between China and the US, both companies pulled the 5G support from Huawei smartphones.
Google’s Android has withdrawn its licence from Huawei mobile phones; Facebook has equally done the same. Huawei phones which will be shipped will not come with a preinstallation of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
The US government claims that Huawei’s technology poses a security threat, an accusation which the Chinese tech firm has repeatedly denied.
In April, Britain’s National Security Council blocked Huawei from all core parts of its future 5G network. However, the government is yet to make a final decision on giving full or restricted access to core parts.
Barring Huawei from rolling out the 5G network has proven to be a major headache for the operators. EE and Vodafone have had to strip out existing Huawei kit, which does double duty for both 4G and 5G. It also meant slowing down activities for them.
The 5G service currently available in the UK still experiences some hiccups. Antennas would likely be needed everywhere, in addition to the masts already existing for quality connection.
The global commercial launch of the 5th generation network is expected to take place in 2020.