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Three (3) Targets 14Mbps+ Mobile Broadband Speeds

Posted: 12th Aug, 2008 By: MarkJ
UK mobile phone operator Three (3) has revealed its intention to upgrade their Mobile Broadband (HSPA) network before the end of this summer. The move will make downstream speeds of 'up to' 7.2Mbps available, with speeds approaching 14.4Mbps being the ultimate goal.

The operators existing network currently only advertises speeds of 'up to' 2.8Mbps, though it is theoretically capable of delivering 3.6Mbps. However, in reality most consumers can expect an average of around 1Mbps+:

"This means we might get 2mbps when we upgrade. The appetite for data is huge, so we have to have a sufficiently deep network, with the right amount of density and backhaul, to cater for all customers," confirmed a spokesperson from Three to Techradar.

"You have to bear in mind that higher speeds mean the network becomes more sensitive. For instance, with 7.2mbps you have to be within around 200m of a mobile mast to really get the top speeds. What we hope to offer is greater capacity, in order to serve more users, rather than just focusing on the top speeds."

The move comes just days after Orange revealed that it planned to rollout speeds of 'up to' 14.4Mbps by the end of 2009 and 7.2Mbps in the top 30 UK cities over the coming months (news). Meanwhile, Vodafone already has a 7.2Mbps network in place and is currently leading the pack for speed, if not price. We expect growing market competition to be in the driving seat for some time to come, leading to faster, cheaper and hopefully more flexible services.
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