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Three reveals £2bn UK 5G investment

TechRadar logo TechRadar 07/11/2018 Mike Moore
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Three has revealed a billion-pound investment plan as it continues to prepare for the launch of its 5G networks across the UK.

The operator has said it has completed a number of key steps in its plan to launch the next-generation networks within the next year or so.

Three says it is set to spend more than £2 billion on infrastructure investment in preparation for the launch of 5G, which it has previously suggested could launch in late 2020.

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The company says it has already spent big on acquiring the largest amount of the UK's 5G spectrum, which should put it in pole position to develop and launch its services.

Pedestrians walking close to London Bridge, many using their mobile phones on 19th June 2017 in London, United Kingdom.  From the series Our Small World, an observation of our mobile phone obsessions (photo by Sam Mellish / In Pictures via Getty Images) © Sam Mellish Pedestrians walking close to London Bridge, many using their mobile phones on 19th June 2017 in London, United Kingdom. From the series Our Small World, an observation of our mobile phone obsessions (photo by Sam Mellish / In Pictures via Getty Images)

Three has also built a super high-capacity dark fibre network connecting 20 data centres across the country supporting a 5G-ready, fully integrated cloud native core network which at launch will have an initial capacity of 1.2TB/s.

The company has also rolled out carrier aggregation technology on 2,500 sites in busiest areas, improving speeds for customers, and signed an agreement for the rollout of new cell site technology to prepare major urban areas across the UK for the rollout of 5G devices, as well as enhance the 4G experience.

Three UK 5G

"We have always led on mobile data and 5G is another game-changer," said Dave Dyson, Three CEO. "Also described as wireless fibre, 5G delivers a huge increase in capacity together with ultra-low latency.  It opens up new possibilities in home broadband and industrial applications, as well as being able to support the rapid growth in mobile data usage.

29 October 2018, North Rhine-Westphalia, Neuss: A 5G antenna at a test site. Vodafone has put its first 5G mobile station into operation. Photo: Oliver Berg/dpa (Photo by Oliver Berg/picture alliance via Getty Images) © Copyright 2018, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten 29 October 2018, North Rhine-Westphalia, Neuss: A 5G antenna at a test site. Vodafone has put its first 5G mobile station into operation. Photo: Oliver Berg/dpa (Photo by Oliver Berg/picture alliance via Getty Images)

“We have been planning our approach to 5G for many years and we are well positioned to lead on this next generation of technology. These investments are the latest in a series of important building blocks to deliver the best end to end data experience for our customers.”

Three recently saw half year revenues rise to £1.2 billion and customer figures reach 10.1 million across the UK. Dyson also told TechRadar Pro earlier this year that the company sees 5G as an opportunity to lead the UK market for the first time thanks to its extensive spectrum holdings.

The company has also agreed a deal with SSE Enterprise Telecoms to provide fibre connectivity to sites and data centres and with Huawei for network equipment in preparation for 5G trials to be held later this year.

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