Three UK has announced that its 5G network will launch in August with support for both mobile phones and home broadband. By the end of the 2019. The network will be available in 25 towns across the UK — including London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool. Three UK’s 5G home broadband service will initially be available only in London.
Three UK said its network will be at least 2x faster than the competition, thanks to the 140 MHz of spectrum it has, which is over double that of its nearest competitor. Three UK’s 5G network is using a cloud-based core network from Nokia.
The company also boasts that it is the only operator that can offer a “true” 5G experience, as set out by the global standards body on 5G technology, the ITU.
This requires 80-100 MHz of contiguous spectrum in prime 5G mid-bands (eg 3.5 GHz).
As well as spectrum, Three has been investing in high-capacity smart antennas, in order meet the anticipated future demand for data.
Over the next three years, Three’s 5G rollout will continue to ramp up to cover 80% of its network traffic.
The network investment programme also includes upgrades within Three’s 4G network, expected to deliver up to 400% 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.
Customers wishing to use 5G at launch will need to be in a 5G area and have access to either a 5G smartphone or home broadband device.
Three will be announcing more details around handset range and pricing in July.