Three UK brings 4G enhancements to customers as their average data usage passes 10GB per month

  • Significant upgrade to deliver enhanced 4G experience
  • Performance improvements of up to 150% for customers
  • Monthly data usage on Three network passes 10GB per customer

Three UK customers have already started seeing the benefits of a significant upgrade to its 4G network which will deliver improvements of up to 150% for customers.

The improvements come as we announce that our data-hungry customers have helped us become the first UK operator to smash through the 10GB monthly data usage barrier per customer. Data usage in July 2019 was a whopping 10.4GB per month versus the UK average of 2.9GB*.

The programme will run until 2023 in tandem with our 5G rollout which went live in Central London in August. It includes:

  • New spectrum and antennas – 6,000 sites carrying 80% of our traffic will be upgraded with new antennas and new spectrum (1400MHz or “L-Band”) meaning speed improvements of up to 150% for customers with compatible handsets**. Customers without a compatible handset will also see speeds improve by about 50%.
  • Recycling our 3G spectrum – 12,500 sites will see speed improvements of up to 40% as we switch some of our 3G spectrum over to 4G.

The upgrades have already started in our busiest areas, so customers will start to see the benefits by the end of the year.

3,960 sites have already benefited from a 15% improvement in performance thanks to the deployment of carrier aggregation technology. Customers will know they are using carrier aggregation when they see a 4G+ icon on their phone.

These network improvements form part of the £2bn investment in Three’s infrastructure which is taking place to deliver an all-round excellent customer experience, based on the combined power of a new cloud core, new IT systems and an enhanced network, as we continue our 5G roll out.

David Dyson, chief executive officer at Three UK said: “5G is a game changer for Three’s current and future customers. It will bring faster speeds, a better experience and masses of capacity which will benefit our 4G customers as well. While we are investing heavily in 5G, 4G is still very important for our mobile and home broadband services.

“These upgrades will ensure that our data hungry customers are getting the best possible 4G experience as 5G rolls out.”



**1.82m customers are using a compatible device which are:

Apple: iPhone XR, iPhone XR CDMA, iPhone XR China (Dual SIM), iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS CDMA, iPhone XS China (Single SIM), iPhone XS Max CDMA, iPhone XS Max China (Dual SIM), iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max

HTC: M10, Pixel, Pixel XL, U

Google: Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL

Huawei: Mate 10 Pro, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X, Mate 20 X 5G, P20 Pro, P30, P30 Pro, Huawei B525, Huawei B535, Huawei AI Cube

LG:  G7 ThinQ, V30

OnePlus : Six, Six T, Seven, Seven Pro, Seven T, Seven T Pro
Oppo: Find X, RX17 Pro

RIM:  Krypton, KeyOne 2

Samsung : Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 5G, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 10 5G

Sony : Xperia XZ, Xperia XZ Premium, Xperia XZ1, Xperia XZ1 Compact, Xperia XZ2, Xperia XZ3, Xperia XZ4 (PF43), Xperia 1, Xperia 10  

Media Contacts:

Three UK Press Office
Tel: + 44 7454 959 715

Notes to Editors

About Three
Three launched in 2003 as the UK’s first 3G only network, laying its foundations as the network that was born to be different. Today Three is a connectivity company that connects people to people, people to things and things to things and has more than 10 million customers.

An average Three customer uses 3.5 times more mobile data than the industry average and its network today covers 99% of the UK population. It has the highest Net Promoter Score (NPS) of any of the mobile network operators at +17, alongside +24 for its Employee NPS.

Three also has the UK’s leading 5G spectrum holdings with more than the rest of the industry combined. Three is the only operator able to meet the International Telecoms Union (ITU) 2020 standard for full 5G services. It launched its first home broadband service this August with a commitment to deliver 5G to 25 towns and cities by the end of the year.

Three was voted the Best Network for Data at the Mobile Choice Consumer Awards, as well as Best Network for Roaming by uSwitch, and the Best High Street Retailer at the Mobile Industry Awards.

Three UK is part of the CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd group of companies which has mobile operations in 11 countries. We employ more than 4,800 people across our offices in Maidenhead, Glasgow and Reading and our 326 retail stores.

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