Three plans to deliver fixed wireless broadband services to 40 percent of the UK population once £250m acquisition of UK Broadband
Three plans to offer 1Gbps home broadband services 1Gbps to two fifths of the UK population using fixed wireless technology, according to reports.
According to The Telegraph, the service would be powered by the 3.4GHz spectrum it is set to acquire if and when the £250 million deal to buy UK Broadband is completed, which is expected to be in the middle of 2017.
UK Broadband operates the Relish service in central London and a number of other networks across the UK. For example, it was awarded government funding to improve superfast broadband coverage in Swindon in 2015.
Three home broadband
The acquisition was first announced in February but Three’s motives have been unclear until now, although it was speculated the deal was intended to futureproof its infrastructure as the 3.4GHz band is earmarked for the rollout of 5G.
However it is now possible Three will look to provide packages of mobile and home broadband services to customers in major cities and build on UK Broadband’s 15,000 strong customer base.
Three’s lack of fixed and pay TV services puts it at a disadvantage when compared to the likes of BT, Vodafone and Sky who can offer bundles to customers. This was one of the reason’s Three’s parent Hutchison sought to buy O2 in the UK and merge the two operators into a pure mobile giant before the deal was blocked by the European Commission.
Any fixed ambitions will likely be dependent on Ofcom’s upcoming auction of 3.4GHz spectrum. Three has been particularly vocal about its belief that BT should be banned by Ofcom from bidding for any of the 3.4GHz spectrum up for grabs (it is already barred from the 2.3GHz auction set to be held at the same time).
It has launched a pressure group and advertising campaign aimed at encouraging the public to support calls for a spectrum cap of 30 percent of the total bandwidth available.
Three declined to comment on the reports.