EE 5G Home Broadband: An alternative to full fibre
If you’re after a speedy home internet connection, but you don’t want to deal with the hassle of connecting new phone lines to your home, or you live in an area with limited fibre coverage, then EE’s 5G Home Broadband package could be for you. With EE 5G Home Broadband, you’ll receive a Smart 5G Hub router, which uses EE’s 5G mobile data network to create a WiFi connection which you can connect up to 64 devices to. You’ll get average download speeds of 110Mbps, which is significantly higher than the UK average, starting at just £45 per month.
Read on to find out more about EE 5G Home Broadband and see if it’s right for you.
What is EE 5G Home Broadband?
EE 5G Home Broadband is a type of home internet connection provide by EE, but instead of using copper phone lines or fibre optic cables to deliver internet to your home, EE 5G Home Broadband uses EE’s 5G mobile data network.
When you sign up to EE 5G Home Broadband, you’ll receive a special type of router called a Smart 5G Hub. This is used to pick up EE’s 5G signal which is then relayed to your home devices via a WiFi connection.
This type of package shouldn’t be confused with EE’s mobile broadband plans, which use a smaller, battery-powered device to pick up 5G or 4G signals ideal for use on the go. If you’re looking for an alternative to home fibre broadband, however, EE 5G Home Broadband could be the solution.
EE 5G Home Broadband Deals
EE currently offers two tiers of EE 5G Home Broadband. Both of them run of the same 5G network, meaning the download and upload speeds are the same, but the difference is the amount of data you get.
The entry-level package offers 500GB of data for £45 a month. It also comes with a £60 upfront cost for the Smart 5G Hub, and the contract lasts for a minimum of 18 months.
While 500GB is no doubt a good amount of data, especially when compared to mobile data plans (people used an average of 5.6GB of data per month in 2021 according to Ofcom), the vast majority of home broadband deals come with unlimited data these days.
So, if you are a heavy internet user – perhaps you’re an avid online gamer, or you work from home and you’re constantly on conference calls – then you wouldn’t want to be restricted by data limits, so should consider the next package…
For just £5 more per month (£50/m), you can upgrade to an unlimited data package. Like the entry-level offer, it comes with a £60 upfront cost and lasts for a minimum of 18 months.
However, having unlimited data means this deal is more in line with fibre and full fibre alternatives. You can play, stream, and browse to your heart’s content, without worrying about reaching your download limit and being forced to pay for pricey add-ons.
You should note, however, that EE applies a fair use limit to this data plan. It should only be used for personal, non-commercial use, and EE reserves the right to apply traffic management controls during peak hours should you exceed 1,000GB of usage per month.
While this deal is quite pricey when compared to fibre broadband alternatives, we believe it offers much better value for money than the 500GB package, and is the ideal option for heavy internet users who may struggle to get a high-speed fibre broadband connection where they live.
How fast is EE 5G Home Broadband?
According to EE, its 5G Home Broadband plans offer average download speeds of 110Mbps. This is better than EE’s top-level fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) package, which has average download speeds of 67Mbps. It’s not quite as fast as EE’s Fibre Max 100 package, which offers average speeds of 145Mbps, but it’s a good alternative if Full Fibre isn’t available in your local area yet.
Compared to EE’s 4G Home Broadband packages, EE 5G Home Broadband is significantly faster. Average download speeds on EE’s 4G home broadband network average at around 30Mbps, which is on par with a basic, entry-level fibre package. We’d only recommend EE 4G Home Broadband over its 5G alternative if you only sparingly use the internet, of if you really can’t compromise on cost.
With average download speeds of 110Mbps, you should be able to connect multiple devices at once, and stream video or music on different devices simultaneously. It should also be enough for avid gamers, unless you live in a household full of gamers, in which case you may need to consider a full fibre connection.
EE hasn’t yet released any data on average upload speeds for its 5G Home Broadband plan, but it’s likely to be a fraction of the 110Mbps download speed. In fact, online reviews suggest that EE 5G Home Broadband’s upload speeds are somewhat underwhelming.
Should I get EE 5G Home Broadband or EE Full Fibre?
As we explained previously, EE 5G Home Broadband is a viable alternative to EE Full Fibre and is a good option for those who can’t get access to full fibre in their area. However, they are not the same, and there are some key differences to be aware of.
First of all, you’ll get faster average download speeds with EE Full Fibre, especially if you go for the Fibre Max 500 or Fibre Max 900 package, although most users won’t be able to tell too much of a difference between EE 5G Home Broadband and EE Fibre Max 100.
EE 5G Home Broadband is also more expensive than EE’s Full Fibre packages. For example, EE’s entry-level full fibre deal, EE Fibre Max 100, currently costs just £31 per month. Compare this to EE’s 500GB 5G Home Broadband package, which offers similar speeds but comes with a download limit, which will currently set you back £45 per month. This is more on par with EE’s Full Fibre Max 900 package, which currently costs $49 per month but offers much faster download and upload speeds.
Let’s take a look at how EE’s 5G Home Broadband deals compare with its fibre and full fibre packages:
|Deal||Average download speed||Contract length||Monthly download limit||Upfront cost||Monthly cost|
|EE 5G Home Broadband 500GB||110Mbps||18 months||500GB||£60||£45|
|EE 5G Home Broadband Unlimited||110Mbps||18 months||Unlimited||£60||£50|
|EE Fibre||36Mbps||24 months||Unlimited||£0||£28|
|EE Fibre Plus||67Mbps||24 months||Unlimited||£0||£31.50|
|EE Fibre Max 100||145Mbps||24 months||Unlimited||£0||£31|
|EE Fibre Max 500||500Mbps||24 months||Unlimited||£0||£39.50|
|EE Fibre Max 900||900Mbps||24 months||Unlimited||£0||£49|
*Prices correct as of March 2023
Smart 5G Hub
When you sign up to one of EE’s 5G Home Broadband packages, you’ll be sent a Smart 5G Hub in the post to get you going. These devices are simple to set up and you won’t need an engineer visit to help you. All you need to is plug it in and connect it to your home devices, and you’ll be surfing the internet in no time.
The Smart 5G Hub can be connected to up to 64 home devices, so it should suffice for the vast majority of households. This also includes smart home devices such as heating and lighting systems. It will also switch from 5G to 4G signals should your 5G signal be weak for any reason, which means you should stay connected without interruption for longer.
Is EE’s 5G network available in my area?
If you can’t get an affordable full fibre broadband connection where you live, and EE 5G Home Broadband sounds like the ideal alternative, it’s essential that you first check EE’s coverage in your area. EE is currently in the process of rolling out its 5G network nationwide, and although it was the first major network to begin the rollout back in 2019 and it is now available in every major town and city in the UK, there are still significant parts of the country – especially rural areas – without coverage. You can check coverage where you live with EE’s 5G coverage checker on its website.