Three: 5G is our "biggest opportunity"

Three 5G
(Image credit: Three UK) (Image credit: Three)

Three has revealed more on its 5G launch plans, unveiling more news about both its new mobile and home broadband services.

At a media event in London today, the operator revealed further details on its next-generation offerings, set to launch later this year, as the UK 5G race hots up.

The operator says it has invested more than £2bn to ensure it is able to offer its customers the best 5G experience when its network launches later this year.

Changing the rules

"5G allows us to change the rules of the game," Shadi Halliwell, Three's chief marketing officer told media, "5G is the single biggest opportunity we have as a business."

Three had already confirmed that its 5G home broadband service would launch in August, but today revealed early findings from a beta trial it has been carrying out with customers in London, nearly all of whom claimed to experience faster, smoother internet speeds.

The company has also said its network for 5G phones will arriving later this year, and that it is aiming to switch on 5G in 25 cities by the end of 2019.

"What we've always strived to do is to deliver more things to our customers than anyone else," Halliwell added, "and what we're going to be doing in the next five years is delivering better connectivity experiences to people and enterprises across the UK."

"The aim for us is to be a connectivity business."

Three 5G

(Image credit: Future/Mike Moore)

Although the smallest of the so-called "big four" operators that dominate the UK mobile market, Three believes the advent of 5G could signal a major turning point in its standing.

The company pointed to the fact that it currently possesses more 5G spectrum than any other operator - a complete turnaround from its position as holding the least 3G and 4G spectrum.

And thanks  due to recent acquisitions, plus some canny manoeuvering in the UK 5G spectrum auction, Three owns 100MHz of contiguous bandwidth, meaning it should be able to offer more reliable services and connections - what it calls a "true" 5G experience.

Three also highlighted the work it is doing with Nokia, with whom it has partnered for a world-first cloud core network, and with SSE Telecoms, with which it has partnered to connect its fibre to BT's local telephone exchanges, as well as laying fibre cables along the Thames Water sewer system, all bringing faster speeds and lower latency.

The company says that all these infrastructure upgrades are necessary due to the explosion of data usage it says 5G will bring. Three found that its customers are currently using 8.3GB of data per month on average, around 3.5 times more than the industry average.

However it believes that the hardware updates it is rolling out will help it deliver not just improvements in 5G, but also across 3G and 4G networks too - contributing to up to 400 percent improvements in speed and capacity alongside overall improved reliability.

"Only Three has enough spectrum to deploy 5G effectively," Halliwell concluded, "we are in an incredible position to lead 5G going forward"

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.