EE offers 99% population coverage and 90% geographical coverage. Find out about EE’s 2G, 3G, 4G & 5G coverage and how to check coverage in your area.
In the UK, EE offers 99% population coverage and 90% geographical coverage. This is available on their 2G, 3G and 4G mobile network. By 2020, EE is aiming to increase their 4G geographical coverage to 95%, meaning more rural areas will be connected to the EE network. Category 9 LTE download speeds are available on EE’s 4G network (typically up to 90Mbit/s according to EE).
As of 2019, EE’s next-generation 5G network has also begun rolling out. 5G coverage is initially available in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. Another 10 cities will be connected to EE’s 5G network in 2019, with the launch of 5G in a further 10 cities being announced for 2020.
In this article, you can find out how to check the EE coverage that’s available in your area. We’ll discuss the different types of coverage available on EE (including the new 5G service) and the price plans you’ll need to choose if you want access to 5G. We’ll also discuss the download speeds on EE and the coverage you can expect when travelling abroad to other countries.
EE Coverage Checker
EE provides an online coverage map where you can enter your postcode to get an estimate of the coverage in your area.
Before you sign up for a price plan from EE, we’d strongly recommend checking the coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on EE’s online coverage map:
The coverage map will allow you to switch between 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G coverage. For calling and texting, any type of coverage will be suitable. However, for browsing the internet and using mobile applications, we’d strongly recommend having at least 3G or 4G coverage.
The coverage map will also allow you to distinguish between indoor and outdoor coverage: we’d recommend having indoor coverage at all the places where you regularly spend time.
For more information, read on to find out more about the different types of coverage on EE. You can also learn about EE’s 5G coverage and price plans, about the download speeds available on EE and the coverage when you travel abroad to other countries.
Types of Coverage
In the UK, EE offers four types of mobile coverage: 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G. In addition, they also have 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling services available to customers with a compatible smartphone.
2G is the oldest type of coverage still available on EE. Acquired from the merger of Orange and T-Mobile in 2010, 2G now mainly serves as a backup for when newer types of coverage are not available. EE’s 2G network will allow you to make and receive phone calls and text messages. It will also allow you to browse the internet at dial-up speeds (up to 0.3Mbit/s).
EE’s 2G mobile network uses spectrum at 1800MHz. In recent years, some of this spectrum has been upgraded from 2G to 4G, but a 2G service should still be available in most of the country.
EE’s 2G mobile network has around 99% population coverage across the UK.
EE’s 3G network also has 99% population coverage across the UK. Allowing you to use phone calls, text messages and mobile data, your mobile phone is likely to connect to 3G coverage in areas where 4G coverage isn’t available. In many cases, your mobile phone will also drop down to 3G when you’re making or receiving phone calls (unless you’re using Wi-Fi Calling or 4G Calling).
EE uses 2100MHz spectrum for their 3G network. Download speeds of up to 42Mbit/s are available using dual-carrier HSPA+ technology.
4G Coverage (4GEE)
EE was the first UK network to launch a 4G service, back in October 2012.
Nowadays, 4G is the most common type of coverage on EE, and it’s likely that your mobile phone will be connected to 4G for the majority of the time. EE’s 4G network offers high-speed mobile data at up to Category 9 LTE download speeds. In theory, this can go up to 450Mbit/s, but actual speeds in reality are unlikely to go over 90Mbit/s.
At the time of writing, EE has 99% population coverage and 90% geographical coverage on 4G. They’ve said that they’re aiming to increase this to 95% by 2020 (partly because the UK’s new emergency services network is due to be built on EE’s 4G network).
EE’s 4G coverage mainly uses band 3 (1800MHz), band 7 (2600MHz) and band 20 (800MHz) LTE spectrum. In some areas, additional 4G coverage is also available using band 1 (2100MHz) spectrum.
5G Coverage (5GEE)
EE’s 5G mobile network (5GEE) offers greater network capacity, faster download speeds and reduced latency compared to their 4G network (4GEE).
EE’s 5G network initially launched in six UK cities during May 2019 (London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast). It is due to be rolled out to further towns and cities during the rest of 2019 and 2020:
|Now Live||9 towns and cities are live on EE 5G (October 2019)|
Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh, Leicester, London, Manchester
|16 towns and cities planned|
Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield (End of 2019)
Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Wolverhampton (2020)
In order to access 5G coverage on EE, you’ll need a 5G-ready handset and a 5G price plan. A regular 4G smartphone on EE’s 4G price plans will not be able to access 5G coverage on EE.
EE’s 5G service uses 5G New Radio (NR) technology. It uses 40MHz of spectrum within band n78 (3.5GHz). Their initial 5G service uses Non-Standalone (NSA) technology so your mobile phone will need to connect to both 4G and 5G networks at the same time.
4G Calling & Wi-Fi Calling
EE offers 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling to customers with a compatible handset on an EE Pay Monthly plan. If you have 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling enabled on your smartphone, it will make the process of calling and texting much more seamless.
4G Calling will allow you to make and receive phone calls without the phone needing to drop back down to a 3G connection each time. This should give you better indoor coverage along with faster download speeds whilst you’re on a phone call.
Wi-Fi Calling allows you to make or receive phone calls where a traditional mobile signal isn’t available (e.g. whilst you’re travelling on the Underground).
At present, you can use 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling with the devices listed on this page. You can also use the service on some iPhones purchased from a different retailer like the Carphone Warehouse. If you’re using an Android-powered device, it will normally need to have been purchased directly from EE for it to work on the service.
4G vs 5G Price Plans
If you’d like to access EE’s 5G network, you’ll need to have a 5G-ready device and a 5G-compatible price plan. You’ll also need to be living in a 5GEE coverage area.
A full list of 5G-ready devices can be found on the EE website. At launch, 5G-ready devices include the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, the OPPO Reno 5G and the LG V50 ThinQ. You can also buy a 5GEE portable Wi-Fi hotspot or the 5GEE Home Router for 5G home broadband. All 5G price plans are EE Smart Plans including at least two ‘Swappable Benefits’.
If you have a 5G-ready device that you’ve purchased elsewhere, you can also buy an EE 5G Smart SIM. This is a SIM-only plan for your unlocked mobile phone giving you access to high-speed 5G internet on the EE network. The following table shows a comparison of EE’s 4G and 5G SIM-only deals:
All of EE’s price plans will give you access to 4G coverage. Some older price plans from Orange and T-Mobile did not give you access to 4G coverage (they were limited to 2G and 3G). However, these plans are no longer available for purchase.
EE Download Speeds
On EE’s 4G mobile network, it’s possible to get up to Category 9 LTE download speeds. In theory, this means a maximum download speed of 450Mbit/s is available on EE’s 4G network. In reality, however, download speeds will be slower than this.
In the past, EE has only advertised a maximum download speed of 90Mbit/s. They’ve also referred to the three different tiers of 4G service:
|Technology||Maximum Download Speed||Average Download Speed||Average Upload Speed|
|Normal 4G||Up to 150Mbit/s||12-15Mbit/s||5-6Mbit/s|
|Double-Speed 4G||Up to 300Mbit/s||24-30Mbit/s||10Mbit/s|
|4G+||Up to 450Mbit/s||50-60Mbit/s||20Mbit/s|
Prior to May 2019, most EE customers were limited to double-speed 4G. This is unless you purchased one of the more expensive EE Max price plans with access to faster 4G+ coverage. Following the tariff refresh in May 2019, all new EE Pay Monthly customers are now able to access 4G+ download speeds.
On EE’s new 5G network, it’s possible to get up to 1Gbit/s (1,000Mbit/s) speeds. In practice, however, average download speeds are more like 150-200Mbit/s (about three or four times faster than a 4G+ connection). Over time, average speeds should increase as EE adds more 5G capacity to their network.
If you’re travelling abroad to another country, EE has an international roaming service allowing you to use your smartphone when abroad.
Roaming is available at no extra cost when you’re travelling within Europe. Beyond this, additional charges will normally apply (though customers with a Roam Further Pass can also get inclusive roaming in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand).
At the time of writing, EE offers 4G coverage when roaming in 79 destinations. In other destinations, international roaming may be restricted to 3G speeds.
Please see the EE website for more information about international roaming and how much it will cost.
Please see EE’s official website for more information about their network and the coverage that’s available in your area.