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.
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.