Three has confirmed plans to launch its hotly-anticipated 5G network in August, with support for mobile phones and home broadband.
The carrier has pledged to bring its speedy new network to 25 cities across the UK by the end of the year, including Cardiff, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool. It starts with London, although Three has not confirmed when it will flip the switch in each city after that.
However, Three has revealed that its 5G home broadband service will only be available in London to begin, before rolling out to other locations across the country.
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With its August launch date, Three looks set to become the third mobile carrier in the UK to roll-out 5G, following in the footsteps of EE and Vodafone. EE 5G is already available in six cities across the UK, including London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast. It plans to roll-out to a total of 16 cities and towns by the end of the year.
As it stands, EE has comfortably the biggest selection of 5G-enabled devices, including the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Oppo Reno, LG V50 ThinQ 5G, Samsung Galaxy Fold, as well as 5G hotspot devices from LG, and HTC. Meanwhile, Vodafone – which only has two handsets available – will differentiate itself by being the first network to offer 5G roaming at no extra cost.
That means those who opt for one of its 5G plans will be able to stream and download over 5G speeds in Italy, Spain and Germany, starting sometime later this summer. This perk isn't available on July 3, when Vodafone launches its 5G network in the UK, because Vodafone has yet to roll out its 5G networks in these EU countries.
But while EE has more devices, and Vodafone will let you benefit from 5G speeds as you travel around the EU, Three has a different selling point – speed.
The mobile network says it will be able to offer speeds that are "at least two times" faster than rivals EE and Vodafone. Three has 140MHz of spectrum, which is more than double what its competitors possess and while speed isn't only linked to the amount of spectrum in your backpocket, it helps.
Teasing the experience that 5G will bring to its customers, Three says: "When we say fast, we mean stupid fast. Faster than lightning fast. Imagine the cleverest people in the world threw everything at it, and some. Well it's that.
"Forget what went before – there's no comparison. This is a revolution. This is the future. All you need to do is get ready for a no-lag life. Forget buffering, FaceTime freezes or gaming dramas. Just buckle up tight for the ride of your life."
Three has yet to confirm which 5G-touting handsets will be stocked by the carrier. However, it's safe to assume the Huawei Mate 20 X and Huawei Mate X won't feature in the line-up. Both of these 5G-enabled handsets were dropped by Vodafone and EE due to ongoing concerns about the Chinese company following the decision to cut-off Huawei from all future Android OS updates.
It's unclear whether Three will charge customers more for its 5G network or will still offer the same benefits which are included with its 4G plans, including the ability to use your monthly call, text and mobile data allowance in more than 50 countries worldwide, and stream on Apple Music, Netflix, SnapChat and more without eating into your monthly mobile data allowance.
Three will confirm more details about its 5G network next month. Stay tuned.