Three UK Network & IT Update
Three UK will rollout 5G this year beginning with a home broadband service in Central London in August with a mobile service being live in 25 cities by the end of the year.
The new network technology will use the UK’s leading 5G spectrum portfolio with 100MHz of contiguous 3.4-3.8GHz spectrum which is required to meet the ITU’s standard for 5G in combination with the world’s first fully virtualized cloud core network with Nokia. See below for more detail on this month’s network and IT enhancements.
5G home broadband trial underway in Camden
Our trial of 5G home broadband is underway in Camden and Wandsworth with sites up and running, delivering live 5G connectivity to participants. The trial is helping us to ensure that when we launch 5G home broadband in August, we are delivering the best possible experience to our customers.
4G equipment upgrade begins in Croydon
But we know the future is not just about 5G, as 4G is going to remain an important technology to our customers for years to come. That’s why we are undertaking a massive programme to reutilise our 3G spectrum for 4G and upgrade the 4G antenna masts on thousands of our sites. We started in Croydon last month by upgrading the sites to new antennas and reallocating 10MHz of 3G spectrum (leaving 5Mhz for 3G) to 4G, significantly improving performance and capacity on our 4G network. This upgrade programme will rolled out to thousands more sites across the UK over the next couple of years.
Full staff trial of Nokia cloud core network
As we build towards the full commercial launch of our new core network provided by Nokia, all Three staff (3.500+) have been involved in testing it out so that we can optimise it for our customers. The new core network is fully 5G-ready and will allow us to manage the massive increase in data usage expected over the next few years.
Transfer of billing records to our new IT systems
99% of customer call detail records and billing data is now flowing through our new IT stack. That equates to billions of calls going over the new network in the three months since we began testing with a staff trial. We are now working towards full implementation but will continue to put the records through our old systems in parallel until the time is right to move only to our new stack.
But it’s not all about the new…….
We reached a new peak for the amount of mobile data traffic carrying over our network during the all-English Champions League final on June 1st. At the busiest time, a whopping 501Gbps was travelling over our network, up 25% from last year’s final and up around 20% on our network’s average daily traffic.