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.”