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Three confirms mobile 5G launch for end of February

Jasper Hart
February 14, 2020

65 locations to get service across the UK

Three has confirmed an end of February launch for its mobile 5G services, making it the final UK MNO to launch a mobile 5G service.

The operator will launch the service in 65 UK locations at the end of this month, including London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Coventry and Nottingham. It was originally due to launch in 25 UK towns and cities by the end of 2019, but as it approached the new year it delayed the launch.

In the time since the delay, Three’s director of strategy and architecture Phil Sheppard left the company, with his successor yet to be announced.

It launched a fixed wireless 5G broadband hub in select locations in August. It claims to be the only UK MNO with 100MHz of contiguous spectrum, at least twice as much as that of either Vodafone, EE or O2.

The operator currently offers the following 5G-ready devices: the Samsung Galaxy S20 range, the Galaxy S10 5G, Galaxy Note 10 5G, Galaxy A90 5G, Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G, and Huawei Mate 20 X 5G. It is offering the service at no extra cost.

CCS Insight’s director of consumer and connectivity Kester Mann said that Three’s position as the last to launch 5G was not that significant, and that it had the spectrum holdings to challenge its rivals.

“Three made plenty of noise about its 5G credentials last year, but failed to match its own hype as rival operators stole most of the limelight. Now is the time for it to deliver,” he said.

“Three’s enviable position in 5G spectrum presents it with a golden opportunity to achieve the scale it craves to challenge larger rivals and spearhead a push into new markets. It may never have such a chance to move its business on to the next level.”

Three will demonstrate the service at a fashion show at Central St Martins in London on February 14, which includes spatial audio, and a 3D projected digital version of model Adwoa Aboah on the catwalk, while Aboah herself watches the show.

Three CEO Dave Dyson said of the event: “Today we celebrate what is possible through 5G with a showcase of our ultra-fast 5G capabilities marking the next step in our 5G journey. The breath-taking, immersive audience experience is something that’s never been done before and we are proud to demonstrate it at such a prestigious global event. 5G is set to change the world for all of us and we can’t wait for our customers to start experiencing it.”

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