Three’s 5G network will launch in August. While initially only a home broadband service limited to London, Three says that by the end of the year it will reach 25 towns and cities across the UK, covering both mobile and home broadband.
These towns and cities will include London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.
Three has said that its 5G offering will be the UK’s fastest. It claims it'll the only operator to offer a ‘true’ 5G experience – defined by the International Telecommunication Union as requiring 100MHz of 5G spectrum.
At launch, its peak speeds will be at least twice as fast as other UK mobile networks, and will provide customers with a more reliable connection and experience, Three claims.
Like other mobile networks, Three is investing heavily in 5G. Over the next three years, its 5G network will cover 80% of its network traffic. It’s also carrying out network improvements across the busiest areas of the UK, as part of its £2 billion infrastructure investment commitment.
Its 4G network is also getting a boost, with up to 400% improvements in speed and capacity promised. It will achieve this by deploying more 4G spectrum, converting existing 3G spectrum to 4G and by using advanced antenna technology.
“We have worked hard over a long period of time to be able to offer the best end to end 5G experience,” said Dave Dyson, Three’s CEO. “5G is a game changer for Three, and of course I am excited that we will be the only operator in the UK who can offer true 5G.”
The August launch will make Three the third UK network to offer 5G. EE’s network went live last month, while Vodafone’s 5G offering will arrive on 3rd July. However, Three’s network should be the most widespread by the end of the year, reaching 25 towns and cities compared to 19 for Vodafone and 16 for EE.
Only a handful of smartphones currently support 5G, including the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. So for the time being it’ll be only for early adopters. Three will announce its 5G handset range and pricing in July.