Three UK has announced that its 5G network will launch in August with support for both mobile phones and home broadband. By the end of the year, the company says the network will be available in 25 towns across the UK — including London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool — although it has yet to announce exactly where the service will be available at launch. The company’s 5G home broadband service will initially be available in London.
Three’s August launch date will make it the third 5G network to launch in the country. EE’s network is already live in six cities across the UK, and in its launch week, it was already offering average speeds of around 200 Mbps.
Meanwhile, Vodafone’s 5G network will arrive on July 3rd. Three might be a little late to the party, but its network should be available in the most towns by the end of the year: 25, compared to 19 for Vodafone and 16 for EE.
It’s also claiming that its network will be “at least 2x faster” than the competition, thanks to the 140MHz of spectrum it has, which is over double that of its nearest competitor, Vodafone.
Of course, spectrum isn’t the only thing that determines how fast a network is, and having all the spectrum in the world won’t matter if Three doesn’t have the coverage to let it actually reach people.
Three has yet to announce pricing or handset availability on its network (it says more details will be given next month), but Huawei’s Mate 20 X 5G is unlikely to be among its 5G devices, after both EE and Vodafone decided to drop the handset over the manufacturer’s uncertain future.
Three’s announcement also specifically mentions that its 5G network is using a cloud-based core network from Nokia, although this means it could still use Huawei gear for its access network, as EE has done.