Three UK progresses £2bn network transformation project

Three UK progresses £2bn network transformation project

26 February 2021 | Natalie Bannerman

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Three UK has confirmed that 10Gbps backhaul has been added to more than 3200 sites improving the experience for it 4G and 5G customers. 

The news forms part of the company’s £2 billion network investment and includes its 5G sites reaching 1,250 as well as the addition of new 4G spectrum to its network.

The 1,250 5G sites span 193 towns and cities, including Brentwood, Chorley and Gateshead, as part of its 5-year programme to deliver the UK’s fastest 5G network.  This is up from 1,000 sites at the end of 2020 with hundreds more sites expected to come online before the end of 2021. 

At the same time, the company’s 4G connectivity has also been enhanced with the addition of 20MHz of 1400MHz spectrum to 1500 of its sites, which will increase download speeds threefold. In addition, the extra spectrum means that the capacity of Three’s 4G network, on the sites where it has been deployed, has been doubled.

The 1400MHz spectrum also improves both outdoor and indoor coverage, it will be added to more throughout the year.

Three UK has also upgraded 3,200 sites with 10Gbps transmission, resulting in a 20-fold increase in backhaul capacity, which will improve both 4G and 5G speeds. Also the majority of voice traffic supported on the company’s 4G network meaning improved voice quality and clarity for its users

“We have made solid progress at the start of 2021 and are meeting our goal to deliver better connectivity, every day, for every customer,” said Susan Buttsworth (pictured), chief operating officer at Three UK.

“Our 5G roll out has made excellent progress with 1250 sites across 193 towns and cities and we’ve made strong improvements to boost the 4G experience for our customers, which has never been more vital with virtual working and home schooling.”

The news comes as Three UK’s average data usage, per customer, per month has surpassed 17GB due in part by customers spending more time at home during the UK’s third lockdown.

In related news, Three UK recently partnered O2 and Vodafone to build 222 new mobile masts to boost rural coverage across country. The news forms the first part of a Shared Rural Network between the three and will increase coverage in specific parts of the UK through the new mobile infrastructure.