Belfast Telegraph

5G internet network launched in Belfast

EE has launched the service in six UK cities (PA)
EE has launched the service in six UK cities (PA)

Belfast is one of six UK cities where the long-awaited 5G network has been launched.

The network went live on Thursday in Belfast, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Cardiff, London and Manchester, with more cities to follow later this year.

It is being provided by the BT subsidiary EE and has promised to offer internet speeds several times faster the 4G, however that speed will come at a cost.

The lowest priced deal for 10GB of data on the network is £54 per month, plus a fee for a compatible handset.

More than a million users per square kilometer will be able to simultaneously use the network, compared to around 60,000 with 4G.

The mobile network will be available on handsets from Samsung, OnePlus, LG, HTC and Oppo, but Chinese firm Huawei has been left out amid ongoing tensions between the firm and the US.

Adrian Doran, head of corporate Banking at Barclays in Northern Ireland, said research shows the roll-out of the network will add an estimated £300m to the economy each year.

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"The interesting thing is sectors such as manufacturing and professional services, which are two of our really big growth sectors, they're the sectors that are going to get the most benefit from 5G," he told the BBC.

"It's going to take a number of years and one of the slighter more worrying things from our research is that only a third of businesses have actually looked at 5G at this point."

Telecoms provider Vodafone is also set to launch its own 5G service in July.

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