Sunday, 15 September, 2019

Three is switching on a 'true' 5G network in August

UK mobile phone networks stock Three will start its 5G rollout with home broadband. Dominic Lipinski PA Images via Getty Images
Cecil Davis | 12 June, 2019, 06:38

Three has announced that its 5G network will arrive in August, and supposedly its peak speeds will be up to twice as fast as any rival 5G network at launch.

Three will then roll-out mobile and home broadband services in 25 towns and cities across the United Kingdom by the end of the year.

For those of you keeping count, it means Three may well have the widest 5G coverage by the time the year is up. EE now only offers 5G in six cities, and promised a total of 16 locations will have 5G before the end of the year. Now it's Three's turn to scrap the 2020 goal and launch 5G way ahead of schedule.

We'll get to what that means in a minute, but first the key information: Three's 5G network will initially be launched as a home broadband service in London, but you shouldn't have to wait long for 5G mobile, as the network plans to launch it in 25 towns and cities before the end of the year.

"Three has more than twice as much 5G spectrum as its closest competitor, which will deliver significantly faster speeds for its customers", the network gloats in its announcement.

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It sounds like Three's 5G network will grow rapidly too, with the company saying that in the next three years it expects it to cover 80% of Three's network traffic. "5G is a game changer for Three", said company CEO Dave Dyson.

This will be achieved through deploying more 4G spectrum, converting 3G spectrum to 4G and using advanced antenna technology, according to Three. Nokia is providing Three with its cloud core network for the 5G buildout.

The news comes after EE launched similar network services on 30 May and Vodafone announced it would launch its own 5G network in July. Vodafone for comparison has just 50Mhz of 5G spectrum, while EE and O2 have just 40MHz.

Three will be releasing more details and the prices of its 5G handsets and contracts later this month.

"Then we don't have to waste higher frequency, like the U.S. are using the millimetre wave. we can use the low band which is more efficient".