5G is the next generation of mobile phone network for those on the move. Today’s typical 4G speeds typically fall between 50Mbps and 100Mbps, but early 5G speeds will raise this bar to several hundred megabits-per-second. Three will launch its 5G network in August, which it claims will be the UK’s fastest – but there is one major catch.
At launch, Three’s 5G network will only be available in London as a home broadband service.
Three will then roll-out mobile and home broadband services in 25 towns and cities across the UK by the end of the year.
Those wishing to use Three 5G will need to be in one of these initial 25 areas and have a compatible 5G smartphone or home broadband device.
Three claims it has “more than twice as much 5G spectrum as its closest competitor”, meaning it can deliver significantly faster speeds for its customers.
Three head Dave Dyson announced: “It is 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.”
Three claims it is the only network provider capable of providing a “true” 5G experience because it is apparently the only company that will give UK customers 100MHz of 5G spectrum, which is how the global standards body on 5G technology describes 5G.
Three will be releasing more details and the prices of its 5G handsets and contracts later this month.
The Three 5G mobile network will initially be introduced to: London, Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Reading, Rotherham, Sheffield, Slough, Sunderland and Wolverhampton.
Three has said that from the launch date “peak mobile speeds will be at least time times faster than other mobile network operators and will provide a more reliable connection and experience for customers.”
Three’s 5G home broadband customers will receive the added benefit of not requiring an engineer to come and set up their broadband as they can just simply plug-in the box themselves and start using it.
UK consumers are predicted to consume 13 times more mobile data in 2025 than today and 5G is hoped to cater with this extra demand.
Over the next three years, Three’s 5G rollout will continue to ramp up to cover 80 percent of its network traffic.
The network investment programme also includes upgrades within Three’s 4G network, expected to deliver up to 400 percent improvements in speed and capacity.
This will be achieved through deploying more 4G spectrum, converting 3G spectrum to 4G and using advanced antenna technology, according to Three.
In other news, Vodafone is shutting down 3G to bolster its 5G networks but insists its 2G will continue for now.
Andrea Dona, head of Vodafone’s UK mobile networks, said: “In the medium term, we will be switching off 3G, because the use of the 3G band and what we get in return is not that efficient so we can use some of the 3G spectrum bands for 5G.
“Then we don’t have to waste higher frequency, like the US are using the millimetre wave … we can use the low band which is more efficient.”
While there is no fixed date for shutting down 3G, Ms Dona believes it will happen in the “next two to three years.”
The transition will require all Vodafone customers to have 4G enabled handsets, and all of its current 3G networks “in certain areas” will have to be replaced with 5G.