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Three to invest £2bn in 5G technology

UK network Three, who are already well-known for pushing their data network, have today announced they are investing over £2bn into 5G technology.

With all the networks full steam ahead in their 5G plans, Three have a great opportunity to stand out thanks to their large spectrum holding following the purchase of UK Broadband.

Three are the majority owner of the 5G spectrum and they already have a customer-base using 3.5x more data than the industry average. It means that they’re well positioned to bring market-leading 5G to increasingly data-hungry customers by H2 of 2019.

We recently brought you the news of 4G+, otherwise known as Carrier Aggregation, which speeds up data by combining spectrum and has seen a decent speed boost because of this. The network is busy delivering on those 4G+ speeds whilst also allocating a big pot of money for their 5G infrastructure.

They have also been busy behind the scenes deploying a new world-first 5G cloud core network. This allows future upgrades to happen quicker and is a big step towards a 5G future. They also have a dark fibre network to connect the data centres together, meaning that they have their ow optical fibre network rather than just leasing bandwidth. This will give Three a massive boost in the race to be 5G network of choice.

5G will be serious competition to existing broadband suppliers by offering super-fast wireless connections to the internet, and with their large portfolio, Three could offer such a service to customers over their new network.

Check below for the full press release.


Three UK committed to invest over £2bn into 5G

  • Well positioned to bring market leading 5G to customers in 2019
  • 5G will mean better services for consumers and business and for the first time, wireless home broadband will be a genuine alternative to fixed line fibre services
  • Committed spend to date covers the acquisition of the UK’s leading 5G spectrum position, new 5G radio equipment and cell site upgrades, high-capacity dark fibre network, the world’s first end-to-end cloud-based core network, and new digital systems that will enhance user experience
  • The improvements will deliver a faster, more reliable mobile phone service and wireless home broadband for customers

LONDON, UK – 7 November 2018 – Three UK has completed a number of key steps in its network improvement programme, as part of a wider £2bn+ infrastructure investment, in preparation for the advent of 5G.

5G technology will provide the capacity to meet the anticipated future demand for data, with UK consumers expected to be using 13 times more mobile data in 2025 than today*. Three’s customers are particularly data-hungry, already using 3.5x more data per month than the industry average.

As part of its network upgrade the telecoms operator has:

  • Acquired the UK’s leading 5G spectrum portfolio
  • Signed an agreement for the rollout of new cell site technology to prepare major urban areas for the rollout of 5G devices, as well as enhance the 4G experience
  • Built a super high-capacity dark fibre network, which connects 20 new, energy efficient and highly secure data centres
  • Deployed a world-first – a 5G-ready, fully integrated cloud native core network in the new data centres, which at launch will have an initial capacity of 1.2TB/s, a three-fold increase from today’s capacity, and can scale further, cost effectively and quickly.
  • Rolled out carrier aggregation technology on 2,500 sites in busiest areas, improving speeds for customers

Thanks to these developments, Three will deliver a faster, more reliable mobile phone service to its customers and is best placed to provide a market-leading 5G service due to its substantial 5G spectrum portfolio. The first commercial quantities of 5G smartphone and home broadband devices are expected to be available by H2 2019.

Three fully supports the government’s ambition to roll out 5G as quickly as possible and is working with DCMS to break down the barriers hampering an accelerated rollout, such as current planning legislation for mobile sites and access to public sites.

Chief executive officer at Three, Dave Dyson, said:

“We have always led on mobile data and 5G is another game-changer. Also described as wireless fibre, 5G delivers a huge increase in capacity together with ultra-low latency. It opens up new possibilities in home broadband and industrial applications, as well as being able to support the rapid growth in mobile data usage.

“This is a major investment into the UK’s digital infrastructure. UK consumers have an insatiable appetite for data and 5G unlocks significant capability to meet that demand.

“We have been planning our approach to 5G for many years and we are well positioned to lead on this next generation of technology. These investments are the latest in a series of important building blocks to deliver the best end to end data experience for our customers.”


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