The mobile carrier, Three, has announced that it will launch its 5G network in London in August before rolling out service to 25 other towns and cities across the UK before the end of the year. To accompany the launch of mobile 5G, the firm is also introducing a plug and play 5G home broadband service. The planned launch follows successful trials of 5G with customers in London.
Currently, Three is carrying out improvements to its network in the busiest areas of the UK such as London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool. The work is being paid for out of the firm’s £2 billion 5G infrastructure investment commitment which includes a 5G-ready cloud core network provided by Nokia.
Discussing the news, Dave Dyson, CEO at Three, said:
“It’s clear that consumers and businesses want more and more data. We have the UK’s best network for data and we have led the market on customer usage on both 3G and 4G technologies. We have worked hard over a long period of time to be able to offer the best end to end 5G experience. 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.”
In its statement, the firm said it believes that it’s the only operator to offer “true” 5G which requires 100MHz of 5G spectrum, as set out by the global standards body on 5G technology, the ITU. It also pointed out that it holds more than twice as much 5G spectrum as its closest competitor which should see better speeds for customers who use 5G on the Three network.
In the next three years, the 5G rollout will ramp up to cover 80% of its network traffic. Those who still rely on 4G will also see an improvement as Three plans to expand 4G capacity by converting 3G spectrum to 4G. It’s unclear whether this means Three will totally end support for 3G.
The full list of cities which will get 5G are London, Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Edinburgh, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Reading, Rotherham, Sheffield, Slough, Sunderland, and Wolverhampton.
The firm topped off the announcement stating that it will share details about the 5G devices it’ll have on sale, and pricing for the new 5G network, next month in July.