Three CEO: 5G capacity is a ‘big opportunity’ to lead UK market

technicalstudio | June 13, 2018 | 0 | Mobiles

Since its inception, Three has always been the outsider in the UK mobile market. It launched in 2003 as the UK’s ‘fifth’ major operator after Ofcom reserved spectrum for a new player in the now infamous 3G auction in 2000.

The astronomical licence fees paid meant capital for 3G infrastructure investment was difficult to find, and the lack of a ‘killer’ 3G use case meant it was even harder to justify. But with no 2G network to fall back on, Three had no choice to launch as the world’s first 3G-only operator in 2003.

The early years were difficult and Three struggled with coverage. But the arrival of mobile broadband (MBB) dongles and smartphones, pioneered by the iPhone in 2007, and a network infrastructure partnership with T-Mobile as well as disruptive unlimited tariffs gave Three the products and services it needed to compete.

Three now has 10 million customers who consume an average of 7GB of data a month – 3.5 times the industry average – while it has 99 per cent population coverage thanks to 14,500 sites and average speeds of 20Mbps. Yet it has always felt constrained by capacity.

A failed merger with O2 in 2016 raised questions about the future viability of the business, but it now sees 5G as the chance to lead the market for the first time.

This article was sourced fromTechRadar

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