British mobile network operator (MNO) Three UK has announced the launch of the first of its Ericsson-provided 5G sites which it said have been deployed in Manchester, Glasgow and Reading. These new sites mark the beginning of the next stage of Three’s 5G rollout under which the MNO will see the connectivity extended to ‘many more areas across the country’. Three, meanwhile, noted that the work has been carried out under a 5G commercial agreement it had struck with Ericsson in July this year, while claiming that this partnership ‘will help boost network efficiency and enable a cost-effective and rapid extension of 5G across the UK’.
The company also noted that its partnership with Ericsson to roll out its 5G infrastructure is part of a GBP2 billion (USD2.67 billion) investment into the transformation of its network and IT infrastructure, with this said to include ‘huge improvements’ to its 4G network. As part of this investment, the cellco claims to have made ‘significant’ improvements to its fibre backhaul capabilities, completed the rollout of VoLTE across its entire 4G network, and launched 20 new data centres.
Meanwhile, the MNO has also now confirmed that, having launched 5G commercially back in August 2019, the latest generation of mobile broadband technology is now available in a total of 154 towns and cities, serviced by more than 800 cell sites.
Commenting, Three UK’s COO Susan Buttsworth said: ‘We’re pleased to have our first Ericsson sites live on our network. Ericsson are a key partner in the transformation of our network. Our customers use 3.5 times more data than the industry average so the investments that we are making are vital to enhancing current performance of our 4G network, futureproofing it and delivering on our promise of providing better connectivity, every day for every customer.’