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Three Announces 4G Rollout Plan in Four UK Cities

The UK carrier Three has announced that it will begin its 4G LTE rollout in four major UK cities starting in December of this year, with a further 42 cities due to be added by the end of 2014. According to its website, London, Birmingham (including the surrounding West Midlands), Manchester, and Reading will receive 4G coverage by the end of the year. Unlike other British carriers, Three is not charging a premium for its 4G services, as long as customers have compatible devices.

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Customers who have compatible devices (Three's 4G network will work on the 800 MHz and 1,800 MHz frequencies on LTE bands 3 and 20) will be automatically upgraded with no extra fees. The carrier is also notable for being the only UK operator to offer truly unlimited mobile data with no exceptions, dubbed 'all-you-can-eat data' by the company.

Three already claims the fastest 3G network in the UK due to the implementation of HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA technology, which allow theoretical browsing speeds of up to 6 and 12 Mbps respectively. The company claims its 4G network will allow browsing speeds of up to 14 Mbps, which although is almost five times faster than standard 3G speeds, it still puts it behind the leader EE, which has doubled its LTE browsing speeds in several UK cities, allowing for theoretical browsing of up to 60 Mbps.

Three, along with the other British carriers EE, O2 and Vodafone, will all support LTE browsing on the new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, both of which were announced yesterday at Apple's iPhone event in Cupertino, California. Both devices are compatible with the 800 MHz and 2,600 MHz frequencies, which were unsupported by the iPhone 5. Both O2 and Vodafone now allow customers to register their interest for the new devices, which are due to be released next week.

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 12 months ago
NIce that companies like Vodafone are investing in 4G. Lovely for those in major cities. Maybe they should sort out the rest of their network though. I can only just get Edge, if I'm lucky, in most place, and usually GPRS.

Fed up of paying high carrier prices to subsidise peoples fast connections in big cities. It's about time people paid a price representative of what kind of connection they can get in their area. Then maybe these companies would get off their arses and provide a decent service.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago
So are 4G and LTE the same thing? When we're connected will it say 4G or LTE in the corner? What's the difference? Really good on Three to do this. After EE monopolised the market and ripped people off, it's a breath of fresh air to see a network which just wants to give its customers the best. Three has always been really great value.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago

You won't get tethering for £15 per month unless they've changed their policy.


The One Plan on Three is £15 a month which includes tethering
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago
I'm planning to replace my Sky home broadband with this from 3 once we get 4G in my home town mainly because Sky broadband is so effing slow. Might as well save myself £15/mth and get a faster speed by simply tethering their unlimited data plan through my iPhone to my Mac. Can't wait. :D
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago

NIce that companies like Vodafone are investing in 4G. Lovely for those in major cities. Maybe they should sort out the rest of their network though. I can only just get Edge, if I'm lucky, in most place, and usually GPRS.

Fed up of paying high carrier prices to subsidise peoples fast connections in big cities. It's about time people paid a price representative of what kind of connection they can get in their area. Then maybe these companies would get off their arses and provide a decent service.


This - I don't really care if London or Birmingham gets 4G since 3G HSPA+ speeds there are already really fast - the thing that bothers me is barely getting Edge if I'm anywhere that isn't a city.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago

Great news; but what the hell is with service providers and their obsession with Cats?

Other than the fact they are as selfish as the creatures themselves.


I assume a tongue-in-cheek reference to other UK networks "insisting they know" what customers want (crappy data allowance but unlimited x,y,z)

Three basically turned around and said "it's your data, use it for what you want, if that is watching cat videos, so be it."
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago
It's a real shame Three don't offer Visual voicemail... :-(
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago
Kinda wish the US would build up its infrastructure more. It seems like every other country has way faster 4g/LTE service, faster broadband and other internet services. Plus, a lot of countries have high speed rail systems, and other faster forms of communication, transportation, etc. But the companies are too cheap to upgrade their infrastructure. I know, the US is a big place and it's expensive, but don't these companies bring in millions, if not billions, of dollars of profits? Plus, couldn't we do more of a public/private partnership?

Sorry for the rant, just kinda stressed out about some stuff & need to vent.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago

So are 4G and LTE the same thing? When we're connected will it say 4G or LTE in the corner? What's the difference? Really good on Three to do this. After EE monopolised the market and ripped people off, it's a breath of fresh air to see a network which just wants to give its customers the best. Three has always been really great value.


4G can refer to HSPA+, LTE, WiMax, or other technologies. LTE is always LTE. The iPhone will show LTE. The only time it shows 4G is on AT&T HSPA+ in the US (on other networks, HSPA+ is shown as 3G)
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago

Wow. It's about time you guys got LTE. :p

Waiting for spectrum to become available, and also to roll LTE-A over LTE in time. The operators were not going to install hardware until LTE-A was ready. Hopefully when the extra spectrum is auctioned off LTE-A can be switched on at a flick of a switch.

The only loser here are EE, most of their LTE Siemens transmitters are not able to do LTE-A.
Rating: 1 Votes

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