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Three Boosts 4G Network Speeds ‘By 40 Percent’ With New Spectrum

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 rolls out latest network upgrade to its 4G customers, claiming it will boost speed and capacity

Three says the rollout of an additional 5MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band will boost the speeds of its 4G network by 40 percent.

The spectrum has already been switched on in Northern England, the West Midlands, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but has now been activated across the UK.

Capacity and performance should also be improved as a result – just as well given the recent major outage Three suffered.

Three spectrum upgrade

Jackson Puppet Three“Our network processes a huge amount of data and we will continue to work hard on providing them with a service that delivers the reliability and speed that they need,” said Bryn Jones, chief technology officer at Three.

Three has 4.5 million 4G customers – just over half of its 8.8 million active users– and its LTE network covers 63 percent of the UK population. The company the last operator to offer 4G and was the only provider not to charge an additional fee for LTE

Its most recent network upgrade saw it become the first UK operator to offer Voice over LTE (VoLTE), while it is also deploying 800MHz spectrum to boost the range and indoor performance of the network. Three, along with Vodafone, has also purchased some of Qualcomm’s ‘L-Band’ spectrum located between 1452 and 1492MHz.

Three’s parent company Hutchison is currently in the process of acquiring rival O2 from Telefonica for £10.25 billion, however the UK Competitions and Market Authority (CMA) has asked the European Union for permission to investigate the transaction.

Regulator Ofcom has also expressed concerns about the impact of the possible merger on competition, with CEO Sharon White suggesting prices could rise if the deal is given the go-ahead.

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