Three UK saw a 385% growth in 5G usage on its network in 2021 year-over-year, overtaking 3G

A 5G hanging from a sign

Three has announced that 5G usage grew by a whopping 385% in 2021 compared to 2020 meaning that it was used on the Three network more than 3G, which is typically used as a fallback when 4G isn’t available. Three put the explosion in 5G usage down to the fact that 5G devices are very popular with consumers and by the end of this year it expects 5G to make up 35% of data usage.

According to the company, the 5G drive has been driven by a desire for faster connectivity. It estimates that 5G could save 23 hours of download time each month, allowing people to get on with other tasks. In its latest findings, it said that phone calls had become more popular during the same period and there were data surges on Sunday nights from people streaming content.

Commenting on the findings, Carlo Melis, Chief Network Officer at Three UK, said:

“It’s out with the old, in with the new for mobile users in the UK. 5G has taken off like never before and it’s telling that it has now surpassed 3G data usage on our network. Superfast connectivity is the future for our customers – with sport and entertainment streaming two of the key drivers of data surges in the last year.

To keep up with the demand for data, we are investing more than £2bn in transforming our network and IT infrastructure, with 5G now live in over 370 locations covering half of the UK population.”

The data about 5G is included in a six-page report compiled by Three called Mobile Britain 2022. It also found that calls made a comeback during the pandemic, Sunday was one of the most popular days for streaming, and football matches led to peaks in mobile data usage.

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