UK operator EE claimed to be the first European player to successfully aggregate a 5G signal using seven different spectrum carriers, with speeds topping 2.2Gb/s in laboratory tests.

The experiment was performed in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, and used five 4G spectrum bands and two 5G. The latter included the 3.6GHz frequencies acquired in the country’s latest auction in 2021.

Announcing the feat, EE noted the technology would provide a “major boost” to 5G network capacity, with a total of 170MHz of bandwidth used in the test. Although it clocked speeds of 2.2Gb/s in the laboratory, it expects this to drop to around 1.7Gb/s in real world scenarios.

It used a mock device sporting Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile platform and X65 5G Modem-RF System.

EE anticipates it will roll out the 5G enhancement in some UK cities in 2022, adding it also plans to sell compatible devices.

The company was the first in the country to launch 5G services, subsequently trumpeting its pace in deploying the technology around the country and speeds achieved on its network.

Despite EE’s regular statements around its advanced 5G network, its executives and those at parent BT have played down the impact of expectations it will be pipped to the launch of the standalone variant by at least one of its market rivals.