Three UK launches the world’s first 5G-ready fully integrated cloud core network

Three UK launches the world’s first 5G-ready fully integrated cloud core network

  • Future-proofs Three UK’s ability to handle substantial data growth
  • Three UK’s 10m+ customers will benefit from a faster and more reliable service
  • Enables Three to make the most of the new 5G technology being deployed in the network
  • Launched in partnership with Nokia

Tuesday, 16th July 2019: Three UK and Nokia have launched the world’s first 5G-ready fully integrated cloud core network, in preparation for the communications provider’s rollout of 5G.

This new 5G-ready core network, which sits in a virtual environment, offers increased security, flexibility and cost savings, allowing Three to scale more quickly and efficiently. It’s also a critical building block for Three to deliver the UK’s fastest 5G network, set to launch from August this year.

The new core network will be managed from Three’s 20 new data centres which have been distributed across the UK to bring its 5G network closer to its customers in order to deliver the lowest possible latency.

Three has already successfully tested its new core network with 3,500 Three employees and has started to migrate 4G customer traffic on to the new core. Migration will continue throughout 2019, seamlessly connecting new and existing customers to this next-gen cloud core. Upon full migration, the new core network will provide massive scalability so it can easily support the full potential increase in capacity which comes from the combination of Three’s spectrum holdings and smart 5G technology.

The core will provide a faster and more reliable service for customers, as well as:

  • Faster time to market – Our customers will be able to enjoy new products even faster thanks to the agility of the new network
  • Capacity and cost efficiency – it can support the growth in mobile data in a cost-efficient manner
  • Security – All of the latest security standards are built-in, meaning best-in-class security for Three UK’s network and customers

Bringing Three UK’s vision of the world’s first ever cloud core network to life has involved a complex integration of products and services from across the Nokia portfolio, and forms an important part of Three’s £2bn 5G infrastructure investment programme.

Nokia will also provide essential systems integration, security, and managed services capabilities, alongside Nokia routing, software and mobile radio technology’.

Dave Dyson CEO of Three UK said: “Our new core network is part of a series of connected investments, totalling £2 billion, that will provide a significant step change in our customers’ experience.  UK consumers have an insatiable appetite for data as well as an expectation of high reliability.  We are well positioned to deliver both as we prepare for the launch of the UK’s fastest 5G network.”

Bhaskar Gorti, President of Nokia Software said: “This is an exciting time for both Nokia and Three UK, as together we work towards the future of telecommunications networks. This project delivers a joint vision that has been forged from the catalyst of Three’s strategy for complete business transformation. The project will deliver a flexible 5G core network, enabling the next generation of mobile services and cementing Three UK as a true leader of 5G in the UK.”

Nokia is at the centre of the new core which also includes a number of other partners who are providing specialist applications which run on or manage the core: Affirmed Networks and Mavenir are being used as applications for traffic management and messaging respectively running on the Nokia cloud core and we are also working with Exfo, Mycom and BMC for Operational Support System solutions which are used to manage the Nokia cloud core and the RAN and IT systems.


Media enquiries:

+44 (0)20 3805 4822 / +44 (0)7454 959 715

About Three

Three is a communications company focused on connecting people to people, people to things and things to things.

Today, Three has more than 10 million customers who use over 3.5 times more mobile data than the industry average. Our network covers over 99% of the UK population.

Three has the UK’s leading 5G spectrum portfolio holding more than the rest of the industry combined. Three is the only operator able to meet the IMT 2020 standard for full 5G services.

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. We have a Net Promoter Score of +15, the best of any UK network, alongside +21 score for Employee Net Promoter Score, reflecting a high level of employee engagement.

Three UK is part of the CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd group of companies which has mobile operations in 11 countries. We employ more than 4,000 people across our offices in Maidenhead, Glasgow and Reading and our 300 retail stores.

About Nokia

Nokia is a global leader in the technologies that connect people and things. Powered by the innovation of Nokia Bell Labs and Nokia Technologies, the company is at the forefront of creating and licensing the technologies that are increasingly at the heart of our connected lives.

With state-of-the-art software, hardware and services for any type of network, Nokia is uniquely positioned to help communication service providers, governments, and large enterprises deliver on the promise of 5G, the Cloud and the Internet of Things.

Get newsletter alerts

Add your email address to stay up to date with the Three Media Centre.