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.

EEIn 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:

Check EE Coverage (ee.co.uk) →

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 Coverage

EE’s 2G and 3G coverage was acquired from the merger of Orange and T-Mobile.

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.

Check 2G Coverage on EE →

3G Coverage

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.

Check 3G Coverage on EE →

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).

Check 4G Coverage on EE →

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 Live9 towns and cities are live on EE 5G (November 2019)
Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh, Leicester, London, Manchester
Planned &
Announced
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)

Check 5G Coverage on EE →

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.

For more information, see EE’s help guide on 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling.

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:

TariffMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimited25GB£20.00
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£22.00
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimited50GB£24.00
SmartUnlimitedUnlimited25GB£25.00
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£27.00
SmartUnlimitedUnlimited50GB£29.00
SmartUnlimitedUnlimited40GB£32.00
EssentialUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£34.00
SmartUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£39.00
5G SmartUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£44.00

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.

International Coverage

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.

More Information

Please see EE’s official website for more information about their network and the coverage that’s available in your area.

Your Comments 20 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 20 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

    • Hi Jon,
      Thanks for your comment and that’s a very good question! With a 3G connection, you’ll typically be able to get download speeds of around 4Mbps. Therefore, this should be absolutely fine for Waze (no urgent need to have a 4G connection).
      Ken

  • HI Ken
    I am on network three and I am thinking to move on 4G EE double speed . Which mobile network is the best 4G EE or three

  • I would say that EE’s signal coverage is generally very poor and rubbish. I was using Virgin sim only for two months last year and hardly had any signal where ever I was and people were complaining to me that the signal quality was so poor that they were not able to hear me. This year I had ordered free sim to call my country from UK not realizing that Delight Mobile is using EE network as when I put that sim into my phone the signal was either none at all or hardly there so EE hasn’t improved in their coverage whatsoever and their coverage map is pretty much a big bunch of lies as it is not true as their coverage just sucks.

  • Dan Bridgland said:

    Hi Ken.
    I’ve recently received a new 12 month Sim only deal, sold to me by someone claiming to be from EE (0345 450 0269). I checked several times before agreeing to buy that the contract was a 4GEE Extra contract, the guy repeated several times, yes, Fast 4G. So I agreed and signed up.

    Now a couple of days in, after my MNP has completed, I contacted EE customer service to confirm that this contract is a 4GEE Extra contract, however the EE CS agent stated that I’m on a standard 4GEE contract and that 4GEE Extra is not available for Sim only contracts, but, I ‘should be able to get full speed 4G’

    I’m using an iPhone 6, in central London, when I run a speed test, I receive speeds of upto 40mb, but not the 70+mb speeds I was previously (occasionally) able to achieve on O2. Bottom line, I’m struggling to determine if I’m able to receive the higher speeds (and eventually 4G+ (LTE-A) with the next iPhone release) with this sim only contract. Can you help?

    • Hi Dan,
      Thanks for your comment. I’ve done a bit of investigating on the internet: it appears this isn’t an official EE phone number – instead it belongs to an EE partner known as Voice Mobile.
      With regards to double speed 4G, I think you’re able to access the higher speeds on a SIM only plan with 2GB of internet or more every month. The 40Mbps speeds seem fairly decent (it’s better than what I’d normally expect for double speed 4G). In theory, you can get 150Mbps on double-speed 4G but this will only be with very good coverage and when nobody else is using the mast. Hence, based on typical speeds, I’d guess that you were indeed using double-speed 4G.
      With regards to O2, they use standard 4G with a 2x10MHz channel. The maximum theoretical download speed is 75Mbps. In reality, it’s very rare to actually hear anyone getting the full speed (15Mbps is much more typical). So massive congratulations if you were able to get more than 70Mbps!
      Ken

  • Hi there

    Thanks for this article.

    I’m just moving to EE because they have the best deal on the new Galaxy S6 Edge, and have signed up for a 4GEE tariff.

    I’m moving from O2 and will miss O2 Priority, such as a £1 pizza on a Monday. I’m struggling to find one page on the EE website that lays out the benefits of this tariff. The roaming will be useful, as will tethering. But what is EE film and how do I use it.

    Your help much appreciated

    • Hi Ed,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, EE doesn’t have one single page listing all their customer benefits – in terms of Entertainment, this is probably the closest page. In regards to your question, EE Film is no longer available. From the 30th March, I believe they’re offering £1 film rentals in conjunction with Wuaki (the £1 film rentals are available from Monday to Wednesday – you’re able to get them by texting FILM to 141). For a list of benefits on the 4GEE Extra tariff, you can see this page from EE here (scroll down towards the box at the end). Besides the double-speed 4G and roaming in Europe, you also get free 0800/0808 calls and an early upgrade 3 months before the end of your tariff.
      Ken

  • My contract with T-Mobile is due renewal and I have been considering my options for the past few months. It became obvious that I will have to transfer to EE to get a decent broadband speed. I have just had a chat with a member of the EE team on the phone. I was quite surprised at the information he tried pushing down my throat.

    I have always thought there was a difference between 4G and Double Speed 4G but to my surprise, this Salesman claimed there wasn’t. He said it was just a difference in wording but I wasn’t convinced. According to him, the only difference between Original 4G and the 4G Extra Plans is that you could use allocated minutes and texts within the EU if you are on the 4G Extra.

    He sounded so convincing but I wasn’t convinced so I jumped on Google right after the conversation. Thank heavens I found your blog. Now, what I still can’t understand is whether he was actually ignorant, or was actually deliberately trying to mislead me into taking out a new contract through him. I am very disappointed.

    Many thanks to the information, I really appreciate it.

    • Hi Ebb,
      It is unfortunate to hear that the EE sales don’t even know the features of their own product! The EU calls & texts are one notable benefit of being on the 4GEE Extra plans. Double Speed 4G is the other key benefit though of course you’ll need to be living in a double speed 4G coverage area.
      Ken

  • Hi,
    I read your page with great interest.
    I’m in bit of dilema, I’ve been with O2 since the iPhone 3g came out. And now I’ve just bought a iPhone 6 sim free.
    I can’t decide on whether to stay with O2 or move onto ee (or three).
    I’ve notice Slough is double speed 4g, from ee coverage map.
    If you were in my shoes, who would you choose?
    Thanks
    Ansar

    • Hi Ansar,
      That’s a very good question though it’s one I wouldn’t be able to answer! There are lots of factors you’ll need to consider: the cost of the tariff, the coverage in your area and also the extras that come with your tariff (e.g. EE Wednesdays, O2 Priority, Feel At Home, etc). In my own personal opinion, double speed 4G probably shouldn’t sway your decision as it only has very negligible benefits in day-to-day usage (you’ll only benefit when downloading large files). The quality of coverage will be much more important… be sure to use coverage maps and to do your own testing before choosing a network.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

    • Hi Alex,
      Thanks for your comment. EE launched their double-speed 4G service in July 2013. This is when the help article was posted on EE’s website. Customers who signed up before July 2013 were all given double-speed 4G at no extra charge. Since then, EE has split new contracts into two separate bands: standard 4G plans and ‘4GEE Extra’ plans which have the added bonus of double speed 4G.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

      • Ken,

        But that page says:


        Will I have to pay more?

        No, double speed 4GEE will be available free of charge to existing 4GEE customers. The service is compatible with all existing 4G smartphones, tablets and dongles.

        Are you saying this is incorrect? I see nothing on their site which suggests a connection between their 4GEE Extra plans and faster 4G speeds. Do you have a link to the contrary?

        • Hi Alex,
          Sure! Take a look at EE’s page on Pay Monthly plans – you’ll see there’s a “Network Speed” column (some tariffs have double speed 4G, others only have normal 4G). If you were to choose a phone as a specific example, you’ll find it often costs £3/month extra for double speed 4G. Take the 16GB iPhone 6 as one example – it’s £309.99 upfront plus £24.99/month for 2GB of 4G data or £299.99 upfront plus £27.99/month for 2GB of double-speed 4G data.
          To summarise, all plans started pre-July 2013 included double speed 4G at no extra charge. New customers signing up to EE after July 2013 may or may not have the service depending on their tariff.
          Hope this helps to answer the question!
          Ken

          • Thanks for that – looks like you’re right. Oddly, the carphone warehouse website doesn’t seem to have any information on this; at least, not on the pages where it shows you phones and tariffs. (They’re also a lot more expensive than getting the phone from EE – I’ve not bought a phone from a shop for 4+ years now but I’m sure they were cheaper than buying from the networks before).

          • Hey Alex,
            You’re right – the Carphone Warehouse website is a little bit confusing and doesn’t make this info particularly easy to find! You can find it mentioned over at http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/ee – there, they have a breakdown of the ‘EE Regular’ and ‘EE Extra’ plans. There’s also a mention of the 4GEE Extra plans costing “£3 more than a regular plan”.
            Ken

    • Sure, and on that page they state:

      How fast is 4G on EE? Here’s a comparison:

      AVERAGE DOWNLOAD SPEED
      EE 3G 4GEE DOUBLE SPEED 4GEE
      3-6 MB/S 12-15 MB/S 24-30 MB/S

      Pretty sure that’s wrong, and the units should be Mb/S!

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