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(Pocket-lint) - EE has confirmed that it will be launching its 5G network in the UK this summer.

The company's CEO, Marc Allera, told Pocket-lint that its consumer launch is mere months away. It means it will be available to EE customers earlier than many anticipated.

EE could also, therefore, beat both Vodafone and Three to market in the UK.

Allera wouldn't be drawn on an exact date. However, with a likely summer launch of a 5G version of the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the usually EE-sponsored Glastonbury returning in June, the two events suggest its network could switch on relatively early in the season.

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Extensive 5G trials

All three UK networks are currently doing extensive trials around the UK. Three has launched permanent 5G networks in Central St Martins in London plus its own flagship store in the capital. While Vodafone is testing an experimental version of its 5G network at Manchester Airport. But both have only committed to saying, "by the end of the year."

Their plans may have to be stepped up a notch if they want to make sure EE doesn't get an early foothold in the 5G arena ahead of them. Their price plans will have to also be very competitive, it seems.

EEEE confirms 5G for this summer will only cost a few pounds more image 2

Will cost a few more pounds

Allera confirmed that EE will be expecting customers to pay a small premium for upgrading to 5G, but suggested that it won't be much: "For a faster, better experience - which is what 5G will deliver - I think consumers will be prepared to pay a few pounds more," he said.

The tactic of asking consumers to pay slightly more for a faster service isn't new. It follows a similar approach to how networks addressed the introduction of 4G and the benefits it offered in 2012.

However, customers may find they will need to purchase bigger data bundles than before. A 5G network has greatly increased speed and capabilities, so data usage is expected to rise exponentially.

Will be able to replace your home broadband

Three predicts people's data use will skyrocket. It claimed 5G will present people with the opportunity to completely ditch their home broadband. The speeds that will be on offer will be as good-as, if not far better than the best fixed line broadband has to offer.

As it does with 4G already, it plans to sell 5G home routers powered by a 5G SIM card to power the broadband in your house.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 18 February 2019.