The operator said it is was also upgrading its 4G network and bolstering its backhaul capacity as part of a £2 billion investment to upgrade their national network
Three’s 5G network is growing steadily, today announcing that it is now live across 193 locations in the UK. Meanwhile, the operator is also hard at work to upgrade its 4G network by incorporating additional spectrum, as well as adding additional backhaul capacity to its network.
Three first launched 5G back in August 2019, but this deployment was largely limited to central London. It was in fact in February 2020 when Three’s long awaited 5G expansion started in earnest. By the end of 2020, Three had around 1,000 5G sites deployed nationally, which has since increased to 1,250 sites spanning 193 locations, as of today’s announcement. More sites are expected to go live later this year.
But the company’s focus is not solely on 5G. Three is also enhancing its 4G network, primarily through bolstering the available spectrum with 20 MHz of 1,400 MHz spectrum to 1,500 sites. This additional will reportedly double the capacity of Three’s 4G network at these sites, and up to triple the available download speeds. It will also provide an additional coverage boost.
Finally, Three has announced a boost to its backhaul capacity, upgrading 3,200 sites with 10 Gbps additional capacity. This will deliver a 20-fold increase in capacity, as well as improving voice quality and clarity for 4G network users.
“Our 5G roll out has made excellent progress with 1,250 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,” said Susan Buttsworth, Three’s COO.
All of these improvements come as part of Three’s £2 billion investment programme to improve their national network, including both 4G and 5G.
But Three is not only developing its network on its own. At the start of this year, Three, Vodafone and O2 announced they were preparing to build and share 222 rural mobile towers
as part of their obligations to the Shared Rural Network initiative, which aims to reduce areas of no or limited coverage around the country.
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