Three to switch on 4G network in late 2013

Three UK LogoThree UK was one of the four winners of Ofcom’s recent 4G spectrum auction, and has already made a commitment not to charge any more for the faster network than its already reasonable 3G connections. It was welcome news, particularly as EE – currently the only option for 4G data speeds in the UK – charges a premium for its service.

However, if you’re hoping Three’s 4G network will come online any time soon, we’ve got some bad news, as according to CEO David Dyson, it’s not going live until the end of the year. While none of Three’s competitors have confirmed when they’ll be switching on a 4G network, most have said it’ll be around the summer time, and are already advertising phones with, “4G ready” labels.

According to Dyson, the lateness of 4G isn’t a worry, as its HSDPA+ network is more than adequate for providing fast data speeds, but without the associated battery drain experienced with 4G. He’s quoted as saying, “Right now the latest version of 3G and the early versions of LTE are not dramatically different.”

The news came when Three’s parent company, Hutchison Whampoa, announced the network had grown to support nine million subscribers, up by nearly a million since last year. The good news for Three is that more than half the total number of users have a contract.

If you’re confused about 4G in the UK, then you can check out our handy guide here, where we explain all about its benefits, drawbacks and potential costs.

About Andrew Boxall

Andy's fascination with mobile tech began in the 90s, at a time when SMS messages were considered cutting edge, but it would be at least a decade before he would put finger-to-keyboard as a freelance tech writer. In the interim he wrote about travel, formulated strong opinions about films and drove a series of audacious cars