UK mobile network Hutchison 3G UK (H3G UK), which offers services under the ‘Three’ (‘3’) banner, has confirmed that it is now offering commercial fourth-generation services in a total of 36 ‘large towns and cities’. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in December 2013 the cellco began the process of enabling the service for those customers with a 4G-compatible device in the three cities of London, Birmingham and Manchester. With locations including Reading and Liverpool having been added to the network footprint, H3G UK has claimed that it is on track to offer LTE-based services in 50 cities and more than 200 towns by the end of this year, while it is targeting 98% population coverage by end-2015. In terms of uptake, H3G UK also noted that around 1.7 million of the 7.9 million customers it had at end-2013 are already using a 4G-compatible device, though it was not detailed how many of those were within the cellco’s LTE network coverage area.
With the mobile operator also confirming that it had doubled operating profit from GBP101 million (USD160 million) in 2012 to GBP207 million last year, on total revenues that increased by 5% to GBP2.044 billion, CEO Dave Dyson noted: ‘In 2013 we challenged the market with a series of innovative initiatives – we abolished roaming charges in eleven countries, we launched a ground breaking pay-as-you-go tariff and we cemented our market leadership on data by continuing to strengthen our network and committing to give our customers 4G at no extra cost. In 2014, we will continue to innovate and put customer needs at the heart of our decision making.’