4G Mobile Broadband network of Three UK covers 48% of UK

Three UK, the network which focuses on mobile data traffic, has announced that their 4G network is now available to 48% of UK. This follows its first year of physical deployment work and the next enhancement is anticipated to help increase greatly this percentage. Most of the work on 4G (LTE at 1800MHz) has been done using the slice of the 1800MHz band secured from EE in 2013.

The mobile operator Three has now on its 4G service, some 3.1 million mobile subscribers from UK’s total of 8 million mobile subscribers. A reason for this is that the 4G service the operator offers at no extra cost to its existing subscribers, unlike most of its rivals. The figure could rise further if everybody has a 4G capable smartphone.

Three UK can also harness the low frequency 800MHz band they have acquired from Ofcom’s auction last year. The next move would harness this capacity to expand coverage, hopefully to reach 98% of the population by the end of 2015. As such, around 50 cities and 200 towns of the United Kingdom have been upgraded with the operator’s 4G service. The 800MHz band may not carry as much data as the 1800MHz band, but it can travel farther and penetrate better through walls. An Ofcom report showed that Three was able to deliver on 4G, 10.7Mbps download speeds and 11.1Mbps upload speeds. This may be slower than some of the rival networks, but the operator could be under pressure, as their “all you can eat” data plans eat up capacity faster.

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