BroadbandNetworks

Three Claims 91 Percent 4G Population Coverage As Customer Base Rises To 9.9m

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Three revenues jump by ten percent as operator praises success of roaming and data offers for 4G customers

Three’s customer base rose by nine percent to 9.9 million during the past six months as it continues to adjust to life after the failed merger attempt with O2 last year. 

The company attributed the growth, and a 10 percent rise in revenues to £1.1 billion, to the expanded Feel at Home offer and the introduction of zero-rated streaming for services that sign up to ‘Go Binge’. 

It claims indoor coverage now stands at 97 percent, up from 81 percent, thanks to the deployment of low frequency spectrum, while its 4G network now covers 91 percent of the UK population. It also says a tenth of users regularly make calls using VoIP. 

Jackson Puppet Three

Three 4G 

“This encouraging set of results is testament to our continued improvement in customer satisfaction, which remains Three’s core focus and clear point of differentiation,” said CEO Dave Dyson.  “The extension of our Feel at Home offer, which now covers 60 destinations worldwide, and the launch of Go Binge, are exciting examples of how we continue to help customers get the most from their devices. 

“Our market-leading satisfaction and low complaint levels are a result of the hard work of the thousands of passionate staff across the Three UK business.” 

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Three’s network was recently named the second best in the UK (and the best in Scotland and Wales) by independent testers RootMetrics, but the operator still relies heavily on its 3G network. Tests showed Three could only offer a 4G signal on 67 percent of occasions. 

Parent company Hutchison had suggested its future in the UK market was up for consideration following the collapse of its proposed takeover of O2, but it has bought fixed wireless operator UK Broadband with a view to offering a 1Gbps home service to 40 percent of the UK population using 3.4GHz spectrum. 

However it has also suggested it could take legal action to ensure its rivals are subject to a spectrum cap ahead of the upcoming auction of 3.4GHz bandwidth. These frequencies have been earmarked for 5G, which is expected to be commercially available in 2020. 

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