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December 4, 2013

Three UK Flips the 4G switch in Four Cities, More Following

4g_mast

 

While EE, Vodafone and O2 have been the major carriers to offer 4G to their customers, Three have announced that they would be launching 4G in December and that it would come with no extra premium to its customers. It seems that they have launched it ever so quietly. With no big fanfare, press release or public announcement, Three UK has launched 4G in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Reading . What’s more it doesn’t seem to be for all customers within those areas.

Browsing through tweets between Three and its customers, it looks as though 4G is available to several thousand customers within the three initial launch cities. Three are hoping to rollout 4G to 1.5 million of its customers, with 4G capable handsets, by February 2014. The reason for the slow, staggered rollout is to make sure it goes smoothly.

Customers will not have to change their SIM card, and will not be charged an additional premium for the service, with Three CEO Dave Dyson telling journalists in London this morning that 4G is an opportunity to strengthen our brand around data.”

Dyson says there should be “no immediate impact” to the customer experience and that the advent of LTE is about maintaining its network rather than improving it, claiming that demand for 4G among its users was lower than its rivals because of its excellent 3G service.

“We’ve been pushing 3G to the limits,”

says Dyson, who says the operator didn’t want to be distracted from its existing network, which it claims to be the fastest in the country thanks to the rollout of DC-HSPDA+.

“I’d argue the transition from 2G to 3G was a bigger shift than 3G to 4G.”

However he concedes that the Three network is nearing capacity in some parts of the country, which is why the additional bandwidth afforded by 4G is so appealing and why it will be delivered in the biggest cities first, before expanding nationwide to be there when customers need it.

 

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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini