In a series of interviews yesterday, The Verge was told by OnePlus CEO Pete Lau that his company was simultaneously working on both an upcoming 5G and 4G phone, though the former was expected to cost "$200 to $300 more" than its 4G counterpart. According to UK carrier EE, OnePlus' 5G phone is set to come to the carrier next year.
The Verge's compound interview (which is a pretty good read, you should just check it out for yourself) also reveals that Qualcomm's president, Cristiano Amon, thinks OnePlus' pricing is a bit higher than what consumers may expect from other OEMs when 5G devices land.
Lau believes that OnePlus' early investment in 5G will pay off in later engineering dividends, and that by working to implement and understand it now, it will be able to deliver even better results later, especially since the wide variety of frequencies expected to be used will come with its own problems. He was quoted as saying "5G will be particularly difficult to have a device that covers all of the world, or even most of the world’s networks."
To start, OnePlus will only be working with sub-6GHz for 5G, which is what EE in the UK is planning on using. Skipping millimeter wave, at least to start, is probably a good idea since the benefits of easily-blocked, shorter-range spectrum in a portable, handheld device like a phone are still debatable.
EE TO BE FIRST OPERATOR IN THE WORLD TO RANGE ONEPLUS 5G SMARTPHONE
- EE and OnePlus announce partnership to deliver 5G to the UK
- EE will be the first operator in the world to range the OnePlus 5G smartphone in 2019
- EE will launch 5G within 16 UK cities in 2019 – switching on 5G in the busiest locations across London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester as phase one of launch
EE, the UK’s number one mobile network and part of BT Group, today announced that it will be the first operator in the world to bring its customers the OnePlus 5G smartphone.
OnePlus announced EE as its 5G launch partner today at the Qualcomm summit event, taking place in Hawaii. EE and OnePlus are working on an R&D partnership to ensure the best possible 5G connected experience for customers.
Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division, said: “EE and OnePlus have a shared vision: to give our customers the best connected experience possible. We’re working together on cutting edge technology to deliver that, and we’re leading the world on the journey to 5G. Adding 5G to the UK’s number one 4G network will increase reliability, increase speeds, and keep our customers connected where they need it most. We have an ambition to connect our customers to 4G, 5G or Wi-Fi 100% of the time.”
Pete Lau, CEO and founder of OnePlus, said at the event, “The pursuit of speed has defined the OnePlus DNA since OnePlus was founded five years ago. There’s no one more suitable than OnePlus to make a 5G smartphone. Our users are always eager to try new things and they are now ready to experience the next generation of connectivity and speed. In response, OnePlus has poured efforts into 5G research since 2016. Today, we stand poised to embrace the dawn of 5G.”
EE is switching on 5G sites in 16 UK cities in 2019. The first launch cities will be the UK’s four capital cities – London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast – and Birmingham and Manchester.
As well as the six launch cities, through 2019 EE will also be introducing 5G across the busiest parts of ten more UK cities: Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol.
EE is upgrading to 5G where it can make the biggest difference to the most people.
The first 1,500 sites that EE is upgrading to 5G in 2019 carry 25% of all data across the whole network today, but only cover 15% of the UK population. 5G is built on top of EE’s award winning 4G network – customers’ 5G experience will be dictated by the quality of both 4G and 5G, as well as the underlying fixed network.
EE is upgrading transmission to 10Gbps links at each 5G site, and has tested the new links – the fastest in use anywhere in the UK – at its trial sites in Canary Wharf and across East London.
Ongoing 4G Investment
EE is still upgrading 4G sites as part of its overall network strategy, while turning 3G signal into 4G to enable more spectrum for a better network experience. The busiest sites will have five carriers of 4G spectrum supporting the new 5G spectrum, making them the highest speed sites of any UK operator in 2019.
As well as increasing capacity, EE is expanding 4G coverage into rural parts of the UK to give rural communities the coverage and capacity that they need. EE has built more than 350 brand new sites in 2018 alone.
Best Network – Five Years in a Row
In August, EE was named as the UK’s best network for the 5th year in a row. RootMetrics travelled 20,928 miles, and undertook 593,008 tests (including calls, data and text messages), of all four of the UK networks across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, in the first six months of 2018. The company has been testing all UK mobile operators every six months since 2012.
EE is currently trialling live 5G in Canary Wharf, and parts of East London. New devices and functionality are being tested in the state-of-the-art Borehamwood test lab.
- The Verge