United Kingdom mobile operator Three to launch 5G broadband in August

Ruben Fields
June 12, 2019

Three is deploying 5G in U.K.cities and towns, including London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, by the end of 2019.

At launch, Three's 5G network will only be available in London as a home broadband service.

Other promises are internet speeds comparable to fibre broadband with "plug and play" 5G hubs, as well as the goal of expanding 5G services across 80 per cent of its network traffic over the next three years.

Three has invested roughly £2bn in infrastructure for 5G, and claims that its network could double the speeds of competitors.

Three claims that it has more 5G spectrum that the other big United Kingdom operators and that its network will be capable of hitting peak speeds that are "at least 2x faster" than its rivals.

"We have the UK's best network for data and we have led the market on customer usage on both 3G and 4G technologies".

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However, as with EE - which is the only United Kingdom company to now offer a 5G network - you won't be able to access 5G everywhere initially. "5G is a game changer for Three", said company CEO Dave Dyson. Note that these networks have more spectrum than that in total, it's just not spectrum that's ideal for 5G use. Nokia is providing Three with its cloud core network for the 5G buildout. Other operators hold 40MHz and 50MHz blocks - including the already-launched EE network, plus Vodafone's that will launch in July.

But 4G is set to improve too, as Three has said that network improvements in the next few years could allow for up to 400% improvements in speed and capacity.

Andrea Dona, head of Vodafone's United Kingdom mobile networks, said: "In the medium term, we will be switching off 3G, because the use of the 3G band and what we get in return is not that efficient so we can use some of the 3G spectrum bands for 5G".

Three said that they would announce details of which handsets would be part of its mobile launch in July.

"Then we don't have to waste higher frequency, like the USA are using the millimetre wave. we can use the low band which is more efficient".

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