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Three says 5G will supercede fibre for home broadband use

Paul Lipscombe
December 4, 2018

Huawei’s two-day mobile broadband forum at the ExCel attracted nearly 1,000 industry guests

Three expects that 5G will replace home broadband in what it anticipates to be the biggest shake-up to the industry since 3G launched 15 years ago.

Three UK CEO Dave Dyson addressed around 1,000 attendees at Huawei’s Global Mobile Broadband Forum, saying that 5G wireless broadband will provide a cheaper and more flexible alternative to the fibre currently in use.

At the event on November 20 at London’s ExCel Centre, Three tested wireless broadband using Huawei equipment over 100MHz C-band spectrum to let people experience cloud gaming and 4K video streaming, claiming the service can produce download speeds of up to 2Gbps.

These claims are supported by an Ovum report commissioned by Three that found 5G will double average speeds of 46Mbps to between 80 to 100Mbps.

The study also found that customers can save up to £240 a year on home broadband, with 5G expected to eliminate the requirement of fixed-line rental.

Dyson said: “5G gives consumers the opportunity to bin their fixed line, enjoy faster speeds and save money. Wireless home broadband means that we can speed up access to superfast internet services at a lower cost, without installation delays or inflexible contracts.

“Wireless home broadband derisks the government’s ambitions for a Digital Britain by providing alternatives to the fibre-to-the-home solution.”

More fun and games with 5G

Home Broadband

Three, which has over 10 million monthly customers in the UK, announced its intentions to launch a 5G wireless home broadband service in the second half of next year.

During his talk, Dyson said:

“Ultimately, all the extra capacity will result in faster speeds. It’s the capacity benefits of 5G which are the revolution and set it apart from previous technology evolutions.”

He also addressed potential challenges for 5G, such as planning and landlord issues for mobile sites and fibre connections between sites and the core network. High rental prices for mobile masts could also hinder the rollout of 5G.

“If these issues aren’t addressed in the UK, or if other countries face similar challenges, the full potential of 5G will not be achieved.” said Dyson.

However, he said, “I can report that there is ongoing discussion between the industry and the UK Government, and I’m optimistic that we can find a better balance for the benefit of the country”.

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