Already started rolling out LTE to some of its customers
Buried away amongst the news that Three (3UK) has extended its fear-free roaming service – ‘Feel At Home’ to four more destinations – now including the USA, is confirmation of its 4G rollout plans. As from 2nd December , Three has started upgrading customers with a 4G-ready device, so that they can access the latest high-speed data technology when they are in an area with 4G coverage. Dave Dyson, Three’s CEO, said, “Customers are using more data than ever on Three, far more than on any other network. As we add 4G capacity to the network, this experience will only get better.”
Three’s 4G/LTE rollout will accelerate in January , with all customers with a compatible device able to access 4G by the end of Q1 2014 when they are in an area with 4G coverage. At no extra cost to the customer!
Three aims to cover 50 cities with 4G by the end of 2014 and 98 per cent of the population by the end of 2015.
That said, 3UK’s high speed 3G, DC-HSDPA network already covers 86 per cent of the UK population. Its slightly slower HSPA+ technology, covers 98 per cent of the UK population.
Data usage based on the latest Enders Analysis research from June 2013, Three now carries 41.5 per cent of data traffic in the UK.
By comparison EE (which had a monopoly on 4G in the UK for around 10 months) carries 29 per cent, O2 carries 20 per cent and Vodafone carries 9.5 per cent.
On its Twitter account, Three said the first three cities to get 4G coverage will be London, Birmingham and Manchester.
The interesting point is that it is apparently only “thousands” of customers which will be able to enjoy the new 4G service.
This implies to GoMo News that Three has finally got its hands on the 1800 MHz spectrum which EE was due to hand over.
So, it’s probably using that for 4G. We’ve asked Three for a list of compatible handsets which will probably reveal all.