Three strengthens MVNO push with Pareteum deal

(Image credit: Three UK)

Three says a new partnership with cloud communications platform provider Pareteum will help it secure more of the UK wholesale mobile market as it transitions to 5G.

The long-term, multi-million pound deal will support Three’s search for growth in wholesale, as well as IoT, while also allowing Pareteum to expand its reach in the UK.

Specifically, the deal will allow for the launch of new mobile brands and IoT services on 3G, 4G and 5G infrastructure.

Three MVNO

“This is a major milestone for Three Wholesale and a vote of confidence in our network,” said Darren King, head of Three's Wholesale Business Development. “We are really excited about the opportunity that this partnership delivers. We have significant growth ambition in the IoT and Enterprise Communications markets and Pareteum brings global scale and proven capabilities.”

Three was a relative latecomer to the MVNO market, but wholesale subscribers now account for more than a tenth of the 11.7 million using its infrastructure. MVNO partners include Dixons Carphone’s iD Mobile, Superdrug (which is also owned by Three’s parent CK Hutchison), and Three’s own in-house no-frills operator SMARTY.

However Three believes the additional capacity afforded by its 5G spectrum holdings will give it a key advantage in securing more MVNO customers. Three is also undergoing a transformation programme that has seen it embark on an IT upgrade and roll out a new cloud-based core network.

Additionally, CK Hutchison has created a global digital unit to identify and create new services across the various businesses under its control.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.