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Three UK Boast 5G Latency Cred with Call of Duty Game Promo

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019 (10:08 am) - Score 4,428
call_of_duty_modern_warfare

Mobile operator Three UK are keen to showcase the benefits of their new “ultra-fast” 5G home broadband network (here) and to that end they’ve agreed a new partnership with Activision, which will help to promote the remaster of the publisher’ popular Call of Duty: Modern Warefare multiplayer video game.

According to Three UK, “5G will give Call of Duty players the optimum online experience … [via] super smooth gameplay, where the only thing limiting a superior performance, will be the player’s skill.” The operator goes on to promise none of the “all too familiar stuttering, annoying freezing and dull loading bars that we have all become used to” (the latter is a reference to older networks, such as 4G).

The operator also encourages customers to “put 5G through its paces versus the standard wired home broadband connection to witness the speeds for themselves,” although they perhaps wisely stop short of explicitly promising a better experience than via a fixed line service (too many potential caveats to consider).

As part of this customers on Three’s unlimited 5G home broadband service (£35 per month) will be given early access to the the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Beta plus a bonus jet-themed in-game weapon charm, although the game will shortly be running an open access beta (i.e. no need to be a Three customer).

Shadi Halliwell, CMO at Three UK, said:

“Ultra-fast speeds are a priority for seamless streaming of entertainment especially gaming. Three is delivering a 5G experience that can’t be beaten which makes us the natural choice for one of the world’s leading games’ publishers.

Customers also don’t want restrictions around how they consume entertainment and with 5G it’s important everyone can explore all its exciting possibilities without worrying about incurring hidden data costs. The combination of our superior 5G network that comes at no extra cost, our truly unlimited data plan and this fantastic partnership with Activision, means gamers can play the world’s most popular game without boundaries and simply concentrate on their chosen mission.”

No doubt Three UK’s rivals may have a thing or two to say about their “5G experience that can’t be beaten” claim, particularly since EE has already lodged a complaint about a similar claim (here) and the operator fails to substantiate it with proper independent evidence of performance and coverage (just having access to a bigger chunk of spectrum – 100MHz – isn’t the only factor to consider).

Likewise ultrafast speeds are handy for downloading and patching, although multiplayer gaming itself is much more latency (ping) dependent. In this case 5G definitely should deliver an improvement as it’s capable of much lower and more stable latency than 3G or 4G, although mobile signals are not immune to disruption and so claiming that 5G will not suffer from “stuttering, annoying freezing and dull loading bars” might be stretching expectations a bit.

Similarly some of those who gave Three’s 5G network a try experienced some buffering when trying to stream a 4K movie via Netflix and we’ve seen ping times of around 20-35ms reported when others have tested a number of different fast paced multiplayer games, like Overwatch. We’ve had a figure like 35-40ms ourselves on some 4G mobile networks when testing online games, although that’s still very good for mobile in general.

Overall 5G should bring a big improvement but it’s important to manage expectations a bit, not least because mobile signals are still subject to a lot of different environmental factors that may change from place to place, network to network and device to device.

Leave a Comment
13 Responses
  1. Avatar Richard

    Tried the 5g. Had double the ping compared to my Vodafone fixed broadband. Also while speed is good on 5g it varied a lot and the upload was less than my home broadband. Returned it since I didn’t think £35 a month was worth it at this stage since my home broadband while not as fast was better for me.

  2. Avatar Danny

    Be nice once it launches in Leeds for me with 3

  3. Avatar Sam

    While ping measurements are useful, high jitter kills online gaming. Will be interested if there’s an improvement over 4G for this also.

  4. Avatar Me

    The upcoming Modern Warfare isn’t a remaster, its a reboot. Very different thing..

  5. Avatar Mike

    From my experience external antennas make the connection much more stable, I have no issues gaming over 4G.

  6. Avatar Simon

    What would be great is if we could get an uncongested 4g signal from three in London. Even a 5g mobile signal in london would be nice to have but three have no clue when they will be really to switch 5g in thd capital. O2 will launch next month leaving three as only carroer with no 5g anywhere for mobile users.

    • Avatar AJ

      Mobile 5G will be released before the end of the year. 5g is currently live on Three’s network but for just broadband only. There will be more cities with 5G when they release this for mobile at the end of 2019 too. Out of interest, does anyone have any screenshots of speed tests of Three’s 5G broadband. Would be good to see what speeds and ping are like.

  7. Avatar Michael V

    I’ve not long moved to a village, around South Wales valleys. 4G provides really great consistent speeds. I’ve got The Huawei cube. While 5G would provide a lot of people more reliable Mobile connections. 4G could certainly be gaming capable for many!

  8. Avatar Max

    I remember the days when we were told 5G would be multi gigabit and 1ms latency, and everyone repeated it like fact.

    And now here we are with bandwidth 10% of the hype and latency 20x as bad.

    • Avatar Richard

      With three BroadBand (relish) you’ll be lucky to get over 100mbs. Best I got moving around London with the router in my ruck sack was 230mbs outside a bus stop.

    • Avatar Jake4

      That’s because we’re not using the millimetre wave mast technology yet, that should improve the overall bandwidth and should be able to connect from the mast to device in sub 1ms.

      The current latency can be improved dramatically by just changing & optimising a few things, such as where the connection exits the three network (instead of just London) and replacing the core network.

  9. Avatar Inmcdonalds

    Did Vodafone 4g home broadband for a while. NAT type fixed to ‘strict’ made joining games with friends online difficult ie. When playing COD. You can’t alter the NAT type with mobile although possibly a VPN will get round the problem.

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