It’s definitely 4G at no extra cost to subscribers
From December 2013, Three UK (3UK) will start to switch on its 4G service for all customers, who have a 4G ready device. Initially, the 4G network will cover just three cities (London, Birmingham and Manchester). However, all Three customers with a 4G ready device will be able to benefit from 4G at no extra cost with a simple software upgrade. Three is making the transition to 4G easy for its customers. Crucially, Three will also continue to offer All-You-Can-Eat data, as part of its voice plans. What the company didn’t say is what 4G technologies will be switched on in December.
Commenting on the impact of Three’s no premium for its 4G service at launch in December, Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said, “While Vodafone and O2 have upped the ante with freebies such as Sky Sports and streaming music with O2 Tracks, Three has kept it simple.”
“The web-savvy provider will deliver 4G at no extra cost, in the hope that offering the service with no premium – as well as the freedom of unlimited data and no hassle in getting set up – will outweigh perks from the competition.”
Three certainly intends to spark a price war by offering unlimited data from just £15 a month on a SIM-only plan.”
“And with almost seven in ten consumers (68 per cent) surveyed by uSwitch worried about racing through their allowances on 4G, Three’s offering could be just what data hungry smartphone lovers are looking for.”
“Will Three’s lower cost be enough to convince customers that 4G is worth the wait?”
“With all four players now having shown their hand, some consumers may choose to play the waiting game to see if things become any more competitive.”
“While there is certainly much more than simply the monthly cost to consider when making the decision – coverage is key when choosing the right network – we hope that networks begin to fight with a little more heart in order to convince customers in making the leap to 4G.”
Lyn Cantor, president of Tektronix Communications, observes,”According to Cisco, video services are set to increase and will account for 66 per cent of all mobile traffic by 2014, becoming the cornerstone of the 4G experience.”
“However, as data demand grows year-on-year, operators risk significant damage to their reputation if new 4G services cannot maintain the quality levels along with the improvement in speeds.”
“No operator makes the transition to 4G overnight, for regulatory, business and technical reasons.”
“Armed with an understanding of the performance of their 4G networks using
big data analytics, operators should be in a strong position to deliver new
services and tariffs to enrich their offerings and optimise their competitiveness,” Cantor added.
“Consumers should be more willing to pay for a guaranteed quality of service (QoS), whether it’s for HD video on demand, music streaming or online gaming.”