New York (The Verge) — A week with the UK’s first 5G network: speed, coverage, and more theverge.com/2019/6/17/1868….
EE is the first UK network with 5G support. EE is using a sub-6GHz 5G network so that means there’s a lot of good coverage across cities like London. Speeds average around 200Mbps, and not the gigabit that 5G promises just yet.
After testing for more than a week with the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, I would absolutely wait on the next 5G modems, more coverage, and network improvements before spending money on a 5G handset and contract right now. The network operators have raced to complete a 5G network, but it needs more time in the oven to be fully baked.
The most disappointing part of my tests has been the measly upload speeds. The promise of 5G has always been about speed, but I’ve barely been able to hit 50Mbps in most upload speed tests, which has made me rethink the dream of a remote office. At home and in our London office, I have a 1Gbps connection up and down, and I’m able to transfer large 4K video files to our New York office within minutes. That’s impossible on a 5G connection with an upload speed of less than 50Mbps, and EE tells me these upload speeds won’t improve until it rolls out more of its 5G network later this year. The current 5G upload connections are still using 4G, which is why the speeds are so much lower than the download links.
My big concern around 5G is data usage. During my first day of testing I used up 20GB of data just on speed tests alone. That’s an incredible amount of mobile data, and I would have chewed through EE’s basic 10GB data plan at £59 ($74) a month with this phone within just a few hours. A 10GB data plan isn’t going to cut it for 5G, and you’d need at least 100GB of data a month to really get the benefits of this new network. EE’s maximum plan is 120GB of 5G data at £79 ($100) per month with the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, which is an expensive option right now. — Tom Warren/@verge