Kicking off 2021: Message from Robert Finnegan, CEO of Three UK & Ireland

In my last message drawing 2020 to a close, I said I was looking forward to 2021 with a great deal of excitement. While that remains true, I know that many will feel that we have entered a new year which is so far very similar to the one we left.

But I am looking forward to 2021 with a sense of optimism, knowing that we have the right structure in place to navigate these uncertain times and keep our customers connected.

Our number one priority is to provide better connectivity every day, for every customer. Everything we do is about working towards that goal, and the past twelve months have shown that this is more important than ever.

With that in mind, last week I delivered an all hands session to Three employees and I wanted to share with you what our big priorities are for the year ahead.

Improving our network experience

We will continue rolling out our network – improving 4G and growing 5G.

Our Big Network Build programme is well underway, with our teams working across the country to upgrade sites, improving network reliability and capacity for millions of our customers.

5G has now gone live in 154 towns and cities, serviced by more than 1000 sites across the UK – and we’re continuing to invest and add more sites to give more people access to the UK’s fastest 5G network.

Improving our customer experience

We want to ensure our customers have a good experience with Three in whatever ways are possible in 2021. With many parents grappling with the challenges of home schooling, I’m proud that we’ve been able to offer unlimited data to disadvantaged school children, and we will soon offer data-free access to educational resources like the Oak National Academy.

While our stores remain temporarily closed, our Three Store Now and Three Store Live services are here to help people choose the right tariff for them, while also giving them tips and tutorials to get the most out of their devices at a time when we need them the most.

In the year ahead, we will be spending more time gathering customer insights to inform how we improve the customer experience. We now have a customer panel who will be at the heart of our decision making, helping us create market-leading loyalty programmes as well as revamping our customer service channels to make them more accessible.

Growing our business

I’m satisfied with our progress in 2020, despite a turbulent year. We launched a number of market-leading tariffs that enabled us to increase our customer base by 214,000, compared to a 59,000 increase in the same period in the previous year (Q3 2019); nearly a four-fold jump. Gaining new customers and retaining existing customers will continue to be a focus in 2021, across both our core Three network and our SIM-only network, SMARTY.

I continue to believe that there is a big opportunity for Three in the business sector. It will be an important focus for us as we develop our B2B presence, building on our existing SME offer and our established private networks division.

New year, new office

We will have more news to share on how we’re progressing against these priorities in the coming months. I’d like to thank my colleagues for their tireless work, especially with so many of us having to meet the demands of both work and family in the same four walls.

The good news is that later this year, we will be able to bring all our Thames Valley teams into one place – our new home for Three at Green Park in Reading.

We have looked hard to find a place that fits the type of organisation we are today, but also one that will suit us as we grow over the coming years. It will allow us to embed a hybrid approach to working, with everyone encouraged to see the office as a hub they can use in combination with home working, rather than a place to work five days a week. It’s a fantastic space which will be key to Three’s next chapter.

With so many of us once again working and schooling at home, there is even greater pressure on the telecoms industry to deliver reliable services that keep everyone connected. I know that all of us at Three are more than up to the task and will be doing whatever we can to make 2021 a better year for our customers.

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