British mobile network operator (MNO) Three UK has announced that, following successful trials with customers in London, it plans to introduce a commercial 5G offering in August, with the launch of a ‘5G home broadband service’ in the capital.
In a press release regarding its plans, the MNO said it will then look to launch both mobile and home broadband offerings in 25 towns and cities across the country before the end of 2019, with more details regarding handset range and pricing expected to be announced in July. Ahead of commercial launch, Three UK is carrying out network improvements across the busiest parts of the UK, including London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, as part of GBP2 billion (USD3.4 billion) infrastructure investment commitment, which includes a new 5G-ready Cloud core network provided by Nokia.
Over the next three years, the MNO will continue to ramp up 5G deployments to cover ‘80% of its network traffic’, while it added that its network investment programme will also include upgrades within its 4G network. These are expected to deliver up to 400% improvements in speed and capacity, with such improvements to be achieved via the deployment of more 4G spectrum, the converting of 3G spectrum to 4G and the use of advanced antenna technology.
Keen to tout an advantage over its rivals, meanwhile, Three UK also highlighted the fact that it has more than twice as much 5G spectrum as its closest competitor, and claimed that it is the only operator that will be able to provide a ‘true’ 5G experience, which it said would require 100MHz of spectrum as per standards set out by the ITU. According to the MNO, at launch peak mobile broadband speeds will be at least twice as fast compared to other providers, and will provide ‘a more reliable connection and experience for customers’.