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Three UK Reveal 5G Mobile Prices – Unrestricted and At No Extra Cost

Friday, July 26th, 2019 (9:30 am) - Score 8,449
three uk mobile broadband

Mobile operator Three UK has today confirmed that all new and existing customers will have access to 5G, when it launches in August 2019 (details), with no mobile broadband speed caps and at no extra cost on all contract, SIM only and PAYG mobile plans. A big offer given their tendency toward “unlimited” data plans.

According to Three UK, the introduction of 5G will mean data use is set to increase by 13x in 2025 (this is based off Ofcom’s mobile data strategy 2016). With this in mind, the operator has chosen to make it really simple for customers to take advantage of all the benefits of 5G – without worrying about the amount of data they are using. The operator predicts that 80% of Three’s network traffic today will be covered by 5G within 3 years.

Admittedly you’ll still need a 5G capable device to benefit, which often means taking out a new plan (unless you’re more of a SIM-Only fan). In keeping with that, Three has today put the new Huawei Mate 20 X 5G smartphone on sale and this will soon be followed by the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G.

Dave Dyson, CEO of Three UK, said:

“Three is leading the way with 5G, by providing our customers with unlimited data and the fastest speeds. Our customers will be able to enjoy and explore a full 5G experience, at the same cost as 4G.

The forthcoming months are going to be game-changing and with our unrestricted plans, we are looking forward to unleashing the full potential of 5G to all.”

Out of all the main operators we’re currently most interested to see how well Three UK’s 5G network performs, which is because they already have a total of about 140MHz (frequency) across several 5G friendly mobile bands and one of those includes a 100MHz block of contiguous spectrum in the 3.4-3.8GHz band (here); ideal for the new service. By comparison their rivals only have 40MHz and 50MHz slices of the 3.4GHz band to use at launch.

The operator, which aims to cover 25 UK cities by the end of 2019, predicts that this will enable them to deliver 2x faster speeds than their rivals at launch, which if true would mean around 200-300Mbps (based on the fact that EE expects 100-150Mbps in the busiest areas).

All of this is very relevant because Three’s mobile customers are particularly data-hungry and consume 3.5x more data per month than the industry average (currently they gobble 8.3GB per month), which is no small part due to their focus on “unlimited” data plans. Indeed the company also offers a 4G Home Broadband package with unlimited data from just £23 per month or £11.50 with a 6 month discount (HomeFi) and they have a dedicated wireless ISP brand called Three Broadband (formerly Relish).

Elsewhere Three has been upgrading more than 4,300 sites across the UK as part of its £2bn investment to continue to meet the ever-increasing customer demand for mobile data and services – no matter whether you are on 5G, 4G or 3G. The operator claims that this capacity upgrade will boost the average data speeds by up to 33% and customers may already have spotted the 4G+ logo on their device when accessing upgraded sites.

One catch here is that Vodafone have also entered the unlimited data game with the launch of their new 5G mobile services (see here), which might give Three UK a run for their money.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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17 Responses
  1. Avatar Philip Cooper

    I use a 3 4g sim in a 4g LTE router for my BB as I live in a rural area with no usable fixed line BB. As far as I can tell the mast serving me is 2-3 miles away, if it is upgraded to 5g do you think it will be available as I understand 5g has a much shorter range than 4g ?

    • Avatar James

      If it is being upgraded, you will probably see an increase if you get full bars on 4G then yeah as there isn’t much in the way of the signal in rural places except hills

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      Range will depend on the frequency band. It is only the very high frequency bands that have a short range. For rural areas they will use the same sort of frequencies as 4G – so lower bandwidth than urban areas, but hopefully better than you get at present due to the other features of 5G.

    • Avatar Mike

      If they use 700Mhz for 5G then it should be better than 4G, if you’re rural I recommend getting an external antenna if you haven’t already.

  2. Avatar Ryan Arbuckle

    I get over 100Mb on my EE 4G lol

    • Avatar Mike

      But how much usage though?

    • Avatar Simon

      Is that all? I used to hit 350 all the time – on a 60 and then 100GB cap of course.

      Voda’s 1G cube with unlimited is currently doing 946 both ways – so yeah – you sure do you just don’t know it yet.

  3. Avatar Ryan Arbuckle

    I’ve zero need for 5G for a long time: https://www.speedtest.net/my-result/a/5088438879

  4. Avatar Tim

    Really couldn’t care about 5G. Need to be seeing 4G+ and 4G++ coverage improved.

    • Avatar Mike

      With 5G due to be available on the lower 700Mhz frequency you should see that.

    • Avatar Tim

      Can you provide a link to data that shows that 5G will provide a better speed on 700MHz?

      5G’s speed improvements are derived from adding more spatial streams (MIMO). This is easier at higher frequencies because the antennas don’t need to be as big.

      If 5G on 700MHz is 2×2 MIMO then speed will be about the same as 4G is today on 800MHz. So 5G doesn’t really give an advantage on this frequency.

    • Avatar Mike

      5G has carrier aggregation as standard hence making further 4G+ coverage is unnecessary imo.

    • Avatar Guy Cashmore

      @Tim

      Agreed 5G 700 is likely to be very similar to 4G 800 in terms of speed, the only significant advantage is more bandwidth for deep rural areas where higher frequencies won’t reach.

  5. Avatar Guy cashmore

    Well done Three, already enjoying unlimited 4G from them, I’m deep rural so not expecting any 5G for at least a year and I’ll need a new router, but this is more good news for those of us stuck on long EO lines with no upgrade plans. Another nail in the coffin of the BT/OR copper network.

  6. Avatar Omar

    Very happy rhis year Apple not allowing 5G on the new iPhone 11 anyone here remember 4G on phones battery didn’t last over 3 hours due to the early 4g chip.

    • Avatar Mike

      That was due to having a seperate chip for 4G, that’s no longer an issue.

    • Avatar Peter Rawlinson

      I don’t think it’s a case Apple aren’t allowing 5G. They fell out with their chip manufacturer & hence it technically won’t make it to Sep ‘19 refresh. Could cost them…..

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