The UK’s smallest mobile network operator, Hutchison 3G UK (H3G UK), which operates under the ‘Three’ banner, has issued an update on the progress of its Dual Carrier HSDPA (DC-HSDPA) rollout. In noting that it had added more than a million new subscribers over the last year, the cellco pointed to the rollout of what it has termed its ‘Ultrafast’ network as a key driver in uptake. With H3G UK revealing that 39% of the UK now has access to its DC-HSDPA-based services, coverage is currently focused on ’50 of the country’s biggest cities and towns’. Looking ahead, H3G UK has confirmed that it expects population coverage to rise to 50% by the end of this year, before increasing further, to 80% by April 2013.
The mobile operator has also pointed to its recent acquisition of 2×15MHz spectrum in the 1800MHz band from market leader EE as another boost for its infrastructure, claiming that the new frequencies will greatly increase its overall spectrum capacity and ‘provides further room for customer growth’.
Dave Dyson, H3G UK CEO, said of the developments: ‘We have led the adoption of smartphones in the UK by giving our customers great coverage, fast speeds and compelling price plans. These network improvements are designed to maintain our position as the fastest growing UK mobile operator.’
Meanwhile, in separate but related news, H3G UK has confirmed the launch of a cloud-based, machine-to-machine (M2M) platform which it claims significantly reduces setup time and costs for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). According to the cellco, the Ericsson-based platform will enable would-be virtual operators targeting M2M device to go live on the Three network within two weeks, a timeframe it claims is ‘significantly faster than competing platforms’. The move, it said, is part of a push into the connected devices market.