Moving towards 4G phones.

For those of you that are technically minded, you’ll have heard a lot of talk about 4G. It’s the latest network buzzword in the industry, so we thought we’d pull together some thoughts on what it is, when it’ll happen and what it’ll mean for you.

Over the next three to five years mobile users across the UK will benefit from networks getting even better. They’ll become faster and have more capacity as operators move towards technologies which are widely becoming known as 4G.

There’s a lot of 4G terminology flying around, all of which describe the different technology that a mobile network might be able to operate on, and the different speeds and capacity that these technologies can deliver.

So what are the terms you might hear about?

HSPA+ or High Speed Packet Access+
HSPA+ refers to the next evolution of 3G technology, and will bring increasing theoretical maximum speeds to networks such as Three. It is potentially able to support up to 128Mbps.

LTE or Long Term Evolution.
This is the technology most commonly referred to as 4G. LTE can support network speeds up to a theoretical maximum of 160 Mbps. It also supports improved (lower) latency, which is the measure of a time delay in a system, this results in faster browsing, improved real-time gaming and voice over IP. New radio spectrum is required to introduce LTE and this due to be auctioned by the Government early in 2012. Part of this radio spectrum is currently being used for TV broadcast and this will gradually be made available for mobile between 2012 and 2014 as analogue TV is switched over to digital.

LTE-Advanced will enable theoretical maximum speeds of up to 1Gbps. It will not be available for a few years. Mobile technology is continuing to evolve and as the Government releases further radio spectrum for mobile use, LTE-Advanced is set to be able to make use of it and continue to enhance the experience of the mobile internet.

4G or not 4G?
All the terms above are being used by networks in the UK and the US to refer to 4G technology. This can be somewhat confusing and is mainly being used as a catchall term rather than a strictly technical definition.

These are exciting times. At Three we’ve already spent millions growing the breadth and depth of our 3G network. We’ve upgraded our infrastructure to allow for more data at a faster speed, and so that we can bring price plans to the market that actively encourage our customers to get the most out of their smartphones with all you can eat data.

We currently operate on an HSPA network, and have already started moving towards HSPA+ (initially 21 Mbps). We don’t have any immediate plans to start referring to this technology as 4G as some others have done.

In any case, our customers will certainly see dramatic advances in our network speeds, and we’re really excited about this next step in our journey.

As we advance our network over the next few years with HSPA+, LTE and eventually LTE-Advanced customers will see a number of steps in performance. It’s important to point out that whilst the headline theoretical maximum speeds will increase dramatically the typical user speeds will not increase as much. For example, whilst theoretical maximum speeds will increase from 7.2 Mbps (HSPA) up to 160 Mbps (LTE) average speeds will move from 1.6 Mbps up to about 10 Mbps. Individual customer experience will depend on factors such as how close you are to a mast, the type of building and where you are in a building and how many other customers are using the same mast at the time.

The series of improvements that we’ll be making during our roll-out of HSPA+ and beyond will gradually push speeds up, allowing you to do more things on your phones, tablets and devices. Things like High Definition video calling and conference hosting from phones, multiple player gaming, and HD video streaming with less stuttering.

And we’re not stopping there. We’ll also be trialling LTE on our network for the first time later this year.

The overall result is a better and faster mobile experience. By making these ongoing upgrades, enhancements and developments to our network we’ll continue to provide people across the UK with the best mobile internet service on the market.

183 Responses to Moving towards 4G phones.
  1. Moderator: Pamela

    @John There is 4G in Glasgow but not in that postcode area I’m afraid John. Thanks, Pamela

  2. John

    When will glasgow and my postcode get 4g g643uw

  3. Moderator: Kris

    @jason We’ve not announced any changes to our plans for when 4G becomes available, so as it stands, the allowance you have on your MiFi device at the moment won’t change. However, if you have, or acquire a 4G/LTE ready device, you’ll benefit from the speeds at no extra cost.

  4. jason

    is 3 going to do unlimited internet on 4g when it comes and a flat rate. so does this mean I can use my wifi dongle when ever and not have to worry about running out of data

  5. Moderator: Pamela – Glad we could help :-) >Pamela


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  7. Moderator: Lauren

    @UPSET – H is HSPA+ which is faster than 3G. If you let us know a full postcode I can check for issues in your area.

  8. UPSET

    why I’m loosing the 3g signal on mi mifi and why 3G is advertised on your website to have indoor and outdoor coverage? 3G signal drop every time and is replaced by H letter… but it wont even work. You gonna do something please? The signal is almost lost in back yard or house. PLEASE COME AND PUT 3G OR 4G REPEATER NEAR LEYTON STATION AREA, LONDON! 4 years I was waiting for some miracle to happen… nothing yet! There are 1000′s of users affected by this. Is almost impossible to compare Germany with England. Why should take so many years to do it right? Why my complaints don’t get an an answer?

  9. Moderator: Lauren

    @Dete – The S4 will work with our Ultrafast network now, we plan on releasing 4G in the last quarter of the year, keep an eye on our blog for updates!

  10. Dete

    I was promised that when I contracted the new Samsung s4 for 2 years that “3″ would be going 4g this August (2013) Until then I could use the 3 and a half “G” that “3″ already have. So whats the truth about 4G this August?

  11. Moderator: Allan

    @Lance Hi there, glad to hear you’ll be coming aboard! You won’t have to take out a new contract, 4G will be automatically added. Just make sure you have a 4G compatible phone

  12. Lance

    I have been an Orange Customer for 11 years now, and EE was the straw that broke the camels back with there price plan, and limited data, I will be joining Three on the 1st November as I feel there package can not be beaten.
    When I take out a plan with Three will the plan be auto upgraded as three advance to 4g? Or will a new plan have to be taken out.

  13. Ellie

    @Ross P – Hi Ross, glad to hear you are excited about 4G on Three!

  14. Ross P

    Sign me up for a LTE trial!!!

    Ive been using HSPA+ with a mobile router for my main home broadband and VOIP phone (i got rid of my landline completely) for just under a year now and I have no complaints. Its excellent!
    I cant wait for threes LTE upgrades!

  15. Ellie

    @Lambu – iPhone 4S is HSPA+ enabled but not Ultrafast enabled.

  16. Lambu

    I am on with three onda 1plan. Will my iPhone4s be compatible on HSPA+ ?

  17. Moderator: Nicki

    @Choo – Our Ultrafast services are being provided across the UK now at no extra charge. It’s too early to say what, if anything, will change when we launch LTE. We’ll continue to offer brilliant value on data in any event.

    Remember to receive Ultrafast Internet you’d need a compatible device.

  18. Choo

    Will the 4G upgrades be available to pay as you go customers like myself?

  19. Moderator: Lauren

    @Andie – we’re looking to release 4G in 2013 :-) we’re already delivering some excellent speeds with our HSPA+ upgrades.

  20. Andie

    right I’m wondering weather to get the note 2 on 3?,they couldn’t tell me anything about 4g it’s all in the future as far as they are concerned.ive been in the branch loads to see when the note 2 was comming(they didn’t know!).i even left my phone number for them to loose it lol.when I saw it yesterday I’m so tempted but its 3G .4g is out on the 15th but only with orange And tmobile who ripped me off in the past on Internet charges.i want unlimited so 3 are the best,tmobile offer that I wait or get 3G with 3 who are brill n don’t rip you off.but phone is on a 2 year contract or go EE n 4g n hope it has unlimited Internet

  21. Moderator: Johanna

    @Muhammad – The reason this handset doesn’t work on our network is that it doesn’t have the UK 3G band 2100MHz. The reason it works on O2 is because they have the 2G 900MHz frequency which is supported by the device.

  22. Muhammad

    Why a 4G handset not working on three UK? Technically the phone should be backward compatible, as I am using O2 sim card right now. By the way the handset is Samsung Exhibit II 4G which is running ginger bread, and if you check on the compatible bands, it does show all the 3G bands in the handset specification. Where is the problem?

  23. BLADESMAN1889

    @ Sedge,

    ok will do – thanx for the reply.

  24. Moderator: Sedge

    @Blademan1889 – Unfortunately we can’t confirm the dates here as we’re not a technical team, the best thing to do is give 333 a call or tweet @ThreeUKSupport.

  25. BLADESMAN1889


    @ MODS,

    Could you tell me when [and if] the work being carried out on my local mast will be complete ?
    I was informed by txt about the maintenance but not as to how long – and the network has taken a massive hit in terms of download speeds.

    thanx BEN.

  26. Tom

    Why will you not roll out 4G (1gbs/100Mbs)

    Why are you holding off on the high speed technology? this is the answer i am trying to find from network providers, but no-one as of yet has given me an answer.

    Also, when are we likely to see LTE-Advanced implemented? as true 4G sounds a long way off

  27. Moderator: Johanna

    @Haiden Alexander – Sorry, not sure what you mean by that?

  28. Haiden Alexander

    How much all of this is likely to cost us in the long run.

  29. Dan

    I hope three get a good slice of the 4g auction, they are the only company providing unlimited data which should be a standard by now, anyone watching knows the prologning of data usage is simply a ploy to extend profits where the technology is beyond the need for data usage.

    Take O2 they are first to trial 4g but their data package are a mere 300mb allowence are they activley engaged in trying to maintain the stone age?

    The whole thing should be flat rate by now including calls.

    I just think consumers should support Three for providing flat rate.

  30. Moderator: Kaz

    @Aaron – Never heard of that one before. Interesting.

  31. Aaron

    I enjoy the mbb supplied by three hspda (when it works) I have found that if you place the dongle in an old Sat dish this vastly improves the reception, it is a shame that Huawei did not make it possible to connect a high gain aerial through a crc9 connection or such like. I am looking forward to the evolution of MBB and fully believe the networks should outshine British Telecom and their blatant reluctance to upgrade their network to something fit for purpose.

  32. Sary

    @Johanna, I didn’t mean you were fobbing me off, I mean’t the technical people at 333. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if what they say is true but i’m really not holding my breath. Thanks again.

  33. Moderator: Johanna

    @Sary – Not at all, we just don’t have any more info here and the technical team on 333 are better equipped to run diagnostics for you. If you’d like us to arrange a call for you then let me know and we’ll drop you an email to gather some account details.

  34. Sary

    @Johanna, I have a feeling i’m being fobbed off. When I said I was losing connection quite regularly, what’s actually happening is that the speed is going so slow that it’s virtually the same as no connection. Speed tests give me results like 58Kbps etc, i.e, no connection. Then a few minutes later the speed goes up again to normal.

    The worst thing is that when the speed goes down so does making calls. It takes ages for a call to connect. I have one year left on my contract so lets see what happens. Thanks for your reply.

  35. Moderator: Johanna

    @Sary – I’ve checked out your postcode and I’m afraid I can’t see any maintenance happening at the mo. The guys at 333 do have access to more info than us, so give them a call, but come back to us if you need to.

  36. Sary

    Thanks Sedge, my postcode is [removed by Mod]

  37. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Sary – So we can look into this for you could you please send through your full postcode. Thank you :)

  38. Sary

    Hi, I’ve had bad coverage since last Saturday. 3G service keeps diconnecting to the point of it being useless. Texts take ages to be sent, some don’t get sent at all. Same issue with phone calls, can take 40 seconds for a call to connect.

    Contacted technical support today and they said there is work in my area, M5, and it should be completed by the 3rd of January. They have credited my account which was excellent service. I’m just wondering if anyone can enlighten me as to what exactly is happening?

  39. Moderator: Johanna

    @Paul – We aren’t able to confirm areas yet but there will be 80% UK coverage by the end of the year. Our new HSPA+ devices (dongles and MiFi) deliver upto 40% performance improvements already over previous devices so it’s worth getting hold of them now. They will continue to get faster as we complete our HSPA+ network side upgrades.

  40. Paul

    Can you check if there is hspa+ in B32 [Birmingham centre-ish) if there are any plans to introduce it in these areas? I’m looking to buy a 3G dongle and if it’s worthwhile, will choose a HSPA+ one instead of a std version, if there is coverage.

  41. Moderator: Johanna

    @Arun – We are rolling out an HSPA+ network but can’t confirm what other networks are up to I’m afraid. The best bet is to check the network for yourself in your area – you can order a free PAYG SIM here.

  42. Arun

    I am thinking of buying a galaxy neus phone. I am considering different networks. As far as I am aware, 3 is the only network with HSPA+. Am I correct?
    Can ou confirm that galaxy nexus will benefit from hspa+? My post code is E14
    The broadband Internet to my house is rubbish. I know that broadband and mobile networks aren’t related. Just want to ensure that the signal would be good.

    Tried coverage checker.. The whole area is in uniform color. Couldn’t be sure if it was working or not.


  43. stuart patterson

    @Johanna thanks for the speedy response, and to answer your question, the only network issue is the one ive had since day one, really poor reception from my flat. Apart from me fabricating a mast and installing it nearer to where i live, I understand this is what ill have to have in terms of signal quality for the duration of my contract(s). Thanks again for your help, you mods should get a big xmas bonus this year, hope you got that three execs these guys are ace!!! :)

  44. Moderator: Johanna

    @Joni – I’m afraid we’re not able to give this info out at the mo, but HSPA+ is still being rolled out across the UK.

  45. Joni

    Any news on when the Uffculme mast local to me (EX15 3) will be upgraded to HSPA+?
    Many thanks,

  46. Moderator: Johanna

    @Stuart Patterson – Coverage Checker the tool on our website doesn’t report planned maintenance work at the mo (it is being upgraded to do so), so the sms you received would have the most accurate info. I’ve checked our internal network tool and the work’s been completed, so there won’t be any further changes and you should have good 3G signal. Are you having issues with the network?

  47. stuart patterson

    I recieved a txt on the 14th stating that my area (WN1) would be having work done to improve the service on the 17th november. Having suffered with poor reception in my area WN1 3US, i was excited by this news, until i checked my postcode on the website which states there are NO works planned for my area. My question is this, will my reception improve soon or not? Thank you for your time mods! :)

  48. Moderator: Kaz

    @David – No problem, I can check for you – just need a full postcode please.

  49. David

    I purchased the E585 on Pay Monthly last year and averaged speeds of 3MB at home, sometimes more. Recently that has dropped to under 1MB most of the time and nothing I do improves this. I only purchased the MIFI as I needed a decent connection at home, and landlines were unable to provide that for me.

    Can you check and see if my area has problems?

  50. Moderator: Kaz

    @Lee Chapman – I have just checked for any issues in your area and can confirm that there is an issue with your local mast which could cause data speed issues. There is planned work to fix this fault and should be completed within the next couple of weeks. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

  51. Lee Chapman

    Hi There,

    I have just purchased a E367 Dongle. Not seen speeds over 2mb up. Wondered if my postcode I’m based in has been upgraded on the local mast yet. Can anyone check that detail? (removed)?


  52. Moderator: Johanna

    @Julian – I’m afraid I can’t give you this info at the mo, but coverage checker will be updated to reflect this info in the next week or so.

  53. Julian

    Can you check if there is hspa+ in se19 or se26 [approved by Mod] or if there are any plans to introduce it in these areas?

  54. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Malc – Great to hear she’s experiencing great signal, yeah you can expect to receive similar speeds on your iPhone 4S :) We’re still rolling out HSPA+ so you’ll start to see that she’s on HSPA+ more often, it just depends on where you are and what you’re doing at the time.

  55. Malc

    Hi, I’ve noticed that when my girlfriends 3 dongle connects, it sometimes picks up a 3G connection and on other occasions picks an HSPA+ connection. What makes the difference as to which type is picked up ? BTW the 3 service I receive on my Thames barge is awesome when compared to other vendors. I’m about to take out another 3 contract for a Iphone 4S. Should I expect similar performance from it when tethered to my PC ?

    Thanks Malc.

  56. lo

    Thank you.But I know a little about 4g.

  57. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Dr. G – We can’t confirm the speeds that you should expect as they’ll always vary. It depends where you live, what’s near to you, the thickness of the walls in your house, what you’re trying to do on your phone etc.

    If you’re unhappy with the speeds you get at home, drop us another line with your full postcode and we’ll take a look at your area :)

  58. Dr. G


    What are the actual speeds for the “all-you-can-eat” data plan with the iPhone 4S inside a house tethered to a laptop (MacBook Pro)?
    I’ll be using my iPhone as a modem.
    Please give me a realistic estimate. Will I expect any failures.
    What I got from Three Shop was 8MBps but the chaps there were not aware of the difference between a MegaByte and MegaBit (1/8 of a MB).

    Thanks in Advance

  59. Moderator: Kaz

    @John – Just taken a look for any future network developments in your area and they are not any planned at the moment. However, we are always improving our network, so there may be some soon.

  60. John

    We use two mifi a/c one upstairs one downstaiars. Fastest speed on a landline are about 0.25 or 0.5gb so the 3 service is much better. However a speedier service would be welcome – any chance in (REMOVED BY MOD) anytime before 2020!

  61. Mark

    I now have HSPA+ enabled at my local (IP31) antenna. The ping rate has dropped from 110 average to around 85 but the download speeds are not any faster than they were before – although pages load more quickly due to the lower ping rate. I have an ipHone 4 and one of the new HSPA+ enhanced dongles which supposedly give faster download speeds – but in reality this dongle is no faster than my iPhone and hspa+ offers no download speed increases. Disappointing to say the least!

  62. Moderator: Sedge

    @BookeyUK – We can’t confirm where HSPA+ is at the moment I’m afraid.

  63. bookeyuk

    Can you tell me if the HSPA+ network is live in Halifax and Keighley? if not how long until we have detailed coverage data?

  64. Moderator: Sedge

    @Kieran – HSPA+ is being rolled out as we speak, unfortunately at this stage we cannot confirm where HSPA+ is.

  65. Kieran

    Im interested in upgrading my current mifi to one of the newer devices compatible with HSPA+, but would like to know in advance if my area supports this or not yet and if not when is it likely to?

  66. Moderator: Kaz

    @Chris M – I’m afraid we can not discuss any HSPA+ updates at the moment. Sorry. The New MiFi’s are 40% faster even without HSPA+, this new technology will just make them even faster when it’s rolled out.

  67. Chris M

    I noticed that there is planned work in my area on 19/09/2011 can you see if this is relating to upgrading the HSPA+ as I leave near Gringley on the Hill and I notices they have been awarded 30 MiFi devices as part of the broardband to the countryside initiative?

    I have just ordered the new High Speed MiFi and hoped this would help increase my speed.

  68. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Johan – If you could send through your full postcode I’ll take a look at your area and see if there’s any planned work in your area :)

  69. Shaun

    I bought a dongle for the first time last week. I gotta say i am impressed.

    I live in an area where i strugge to get 2 meg with sky. My little 3 dongle i have seen at 10meg.

    Cant ask for much more. Well apart from the price.. I do download alot so its not so good for than.

    Unless yer loaded of course.

  70. Johan

    When I signed up for the moblie broadband 1 year ago the 3 sales person promised me that I will get very good speeds on my mobile broadband. Up to 7.2Mbps… He checked my area and confirmed that it will be the case.

    I live in East London and I never got close to any speeds like they promised me. I am lucky if my average speed is 560Kbps…

    Hope this lies will stop and delivler what they promise…. !!!

  71. Moderator: Johanna

    @Adam Jarvis – Thank you very much for getting in touch. Llanydfriog looks like a very interesting proposition, and we’ll get our engineers to look into the service we can offer people in the community. We are working closely with the Welsh Assembley on this project, and are looking to them to help us nominate suitable communitites to help, but we will make sure Llanydfriog is highlighted to them and included on the list.

  72. Adam Jarvis

    HI three, how do we as a town go about getting nominated as a ‘not-spot’ to obtain free mobile broadband access for a year? I live near the town of Llanydfriog, nr Newcastle Emlyn, Wales. While Newcastle Emlyn has good Broadband connections, we are several miles from the exchange, due to aluminium cabling – broadband connections are 0.5-1MBps, but Llandyfriog is much nearer to the three 3G transmitter, so would be an idea choice of location to offer free three mobile broadband to – be good to offer it to a location in Wales too, to show that there is good 3G Coverage in remote areas too..
    Further info can be found on the Newcastle Emlyn Website, on who to contact further.

  73. John DJ Macca McAuley

    all i have to say on the matter is it dont matter how fast you get it the prices are to expensive the all u can eat DATA plan only applys to the phone NOT dongles .. Sorry 3 but ya phones may be all that but the dongle side of it ya need to seriously consider sorting the capps out … I use if i can say this tmob and its capped at 2gig BUT when i hit it it carrys on as usual just cant download at PEAK times between 4- Midnight y cant use do that .. i got a 3 dongle when they first come out even got a MIFI for my iphone but it hasnt improved that much

  74. StephenC

    Looks like Fife, Scotland has moved to H+ (HSPA+). I noticed on Monday I was getting H+ sometimes, just completed a speed test and I am getting, on average, 2.6M download and 1.6M upload using my Samsung Galaxy S2.

  75. Moderator: Kaz

    @Mark – we will be updating everyone as soon as we can. Can’t provide any more details at the moment, but it will not be long.

  76. Mark

    Please 3 become more open about the ‘+’ upgrade. I bought the new dongle but have found no difference in speed between this or my iphone 4. I think until you upgrade the mast (and nobody knows when this will be – if at all) I, Iike many 3 customers will be stuck in the slow lane waiting and wondering.

    I have 2 phones on the one plan – is it not reasonable to expect three to give me ANY indication of when the mast will be upgraded?

  77. Ben

    Oh & this is with a ZTE MF112 [old style Standard NON HSPA+ dongle]

  78. Ben

    @ Phil S

    Here is my fastest yet speed-test – 10.13 Mbps

    This is NOT a error test – see my previous posts, if need be I can post a minimum average speed of 7/8 Mbps EVERY night if proof is ever needed – I can also show how it slows down to a crawl during peak times – again showing that my top speeds are not fake or the day tests wouldn’t be so different.

  79. Einar Nilsen-Nygaard

    I live in a rural area where BT Broadband speeds are roughly equivalent to the three mobile broadband speeds. However, the comparative cost makes using three too expensive when factoring in download caps as well (I work from home as well as use broadband for home use).

    When will the HSPA+ or LTE technologies be generally available and at a price point that makes it a reality for someone like me to switch to a provider like three in order to get higher speed broadband that BT will likely ever provide over the next 5+ years? I’d love to have a practical opportunity to be your customer!

    “Practical” in this case means speeds > ~4Mbps down/256Kbps up, unlimited volume for about £20/month.

  80. Moderator: Johanna

    @Phil S – Our network is already enabled to speeds in excess of 10mbps and we are working to gradually roll-out HSPA+ in the coming months. We are advertising our dongles as HSPA+ capable and are the only network offering these across the range to optimize our customers’ experience. These dongles already allow for a significant speed increase over our previous dongles (offering upto 40% faster performance than previous models) and the customer experience will continue to improve as the HSPA+ roll-out is completed. HSPA+ refers to a suite of technologies not just outright speed and additional technical features in the dongle such as noise cancellation are an important development to enhance overall experience not just speed. It’s important to us to deliver the best performing dongles we can now and continue to improve the network.

    We will take your comments on board and review how we can make HSPA+ clearer, but for now, our tests have proven that both the E353 and E367 dongles offer the best experience we can today and as you say, we’ve seen customers achieve very impressive speeds. We have no hesitation in recommending customers use these two devices now for the best MBB experience and that this will continue as the network evolves.

  81. Phil S

    @Rich J
    I really have to second your comments. Yesterday I had a lengthily on-line chat with a representative about their new Premium Dongle and trying to clarify the state of HSPA+ on Three’s network. I honestly don’t think he knew anything about HSPA+ at all. He started out saying all masts had been updated to HSPA+ and then later backtracked to “unable to provide this information’.

    He kept telling me to refer to the coverage map to find out if a particular location had HSPA+, but of course the coverage map only shows Three’s standard internet service which is not HSPA+.

    Furthermore, it’s concerning that Three are advertising their all-new HSPA+ Premium Dongle as the latest & greatest in the land, but there is absolutely no mention that for many of us, our local mast may not even support HSPA+.

    The coverage map seriously needs to be updated to show HSPA+ availability and an indication of what speeds can be achieved on Three’s HSPA+ network.

    The representative I chatted to said the maximum speed currently available on Three’s network is 5.6Mbps. I don’t believe this, as I’ve seen lots of reports online of people getting more than this, one even showed they achieved over 9Mbps.

    Three are not doing themselves any favours by not clarifying their HSPA+ position, mast updates and the expected speed increases that can be achieved by using HSPA+.

  82. Moderator: Kaz

    @Rich J – There will more news on 4g soon, afraid I can’t give you anymore information at the moment. Sorry.

  83. Rich J

    I like the idea of HSPA+ ditching Virginmedia and use a Samsung S II instead with tethering BUT.. without confirmation that I’m in a HSPA+ mast area I won’t commit and will likely cancel my contract for a cheaper (calls) option.

    Please sort out a HSPA+ coverage map or at least provide your helpful staff here with the information.

    I was told by a three store salesperson said 80% of masts already upgraded but I suspect that was BS as he was trying to make a sale! Then again from all the information here, he might be right..

    Assuming I purchase a Samsung S II to replace my cable connection and I’m not within an HSPA+ mast area can I return it as not fit for purpose.

    I’d like to point out, I’m not having a go at the staff here they reply to the best of the information they’ve been provided but I suspect they aren’t being told for whatever reason. (Most likely slow roll-out)

    Not being able to get the relevant information is very frustrating!

  84. Peter

    I have had H+ on the train on my Galaxy S2 whilst travelling via Birmingham and Wolverhampton. Can’t wait for the roll out to gain some proper coverage.

  85. Justin

    Thanks Johanna, yes that totally answers my question. Look forward to getting the HSPA+ network in this area.

  86. Moderator: Johanna

    @Justin – We advertise and offer two dongles, the E353 and the E367 – both of which are HSPA+. Both dongles offer up to 40% faster than previous models as they share the same basic HSPA+ chipset. Our premium dongle, the E367 can offer an additional performance benefit in some conditions due to its rotating design. I hope this helps!

  87. Justin

    Hi Johanna,
    I’ve not noticed any increase in speed still around 1 to 1.5Mbps but signal strength has gone up from around 20-25% to 30-35%.
    The modem was described as a Huawei HSPA+ dongle so I thought I was getting the Huawei 367 as that was the only HSPA+ modem advertised by 3 (and the one advertised as being 40% faster). The modem I received was a Huawei E353 which is also an HSPA+ dongle.
    My question is if the 40% speed increase is down to it being an HSPA+ modem or something specific in the design of the E367?

  88. Moderator: Kaz

    @Kieran – Once HSPA+ starts to roll out on our network, if you have a phone that supports this technology and your on using the Three network, it will work.

  89. Kieran

    @Johanna Thanks for the response. If I get an unlocked phone that supports HSPA+, will it work on three?

  90. Moderator: Johanna

    @Justin – Great that you’ve already noticed a speed increase in your new dongle :-) This will only get better as HSPA+ is rolled out over the summer. Which dongle did you think you were getting?

  91. Moderator: Johanna

    @Kieran – It’s just the Samsung Galaxy SII at the mo! Thanks for the flag about this not being clear though, I’ll see what we can do.

  92. Justin

    Having seen the claims of 40% speed increase on the new dongle I rang 3 to see if I could upgrade my dongle. This was done at no charge and no increase in my tariff and I received the dongle the next day…brilliant!!
    However the dongle is a Huawei E353 HSPA+ so not the dongle advertised by 3.
    Do you know if the 40% speed increase only relates to the Huawei E367 or to all HSPA+ dongles? I’ve not noticed any increase in speed although the signal strength reported from my 3G router has increased by about 10%

  93. Kieran

    Is there a list of Three phones which support HSPA+? I can’t find information about this anywhere on the internet.

  94. Moderator: Kaz

    @Morris – I’m afraid I can’t give you any more news over and above the details on this 4g blog post. Sorry.

  95. Morris

    Hi Johanna
    Thank you for replying. Can you let me know when postcode (removed by mod) will become HSPA+
    Kind regards

  96. Moderator: Johanna

    @Morris – We’re sorry you are disappointed with your HSPA+ dongle. All our of tests show it already performs significantly faster than our 7.2 products and we’ve had great customer feedback to date from customers who are experiencing even bigger improvements in speed than we’ve seen ourselves. While it already offers speeds in excess of previous products, it will continue to offer increased speeds as we upgrade the network further. The next phase of the HSPA+ rollout is already well underway and will be complete in the majority of the network in the next two months.

  97. Morris

    After talking 3 times to sales, I purchased a HSPA+ 24 month contract dongle, only to find the speed is exactly the same as my current three, MIFI. 1mb up and 1mb down. The sales people said that my connection here is excellent and I should expect very high speeds, and that Three have upgraded all their masts to HSPA+.

    I now find reading through this, that HSPA+ is very much work in progress with no real indication of what has actually been upgraded or any way of finding out.

    I would be grateful if a Mod could reply to me to clarify, at the moment feeling a bit like I’ve been ‘sold a pup’

    Many thanks

  98. otester

    Would be nice if Three could add HSPA+ to their coverage map.

    Currently with Vodafone and it’s only in major city centers that I get HSPA+.

  99. knowbody

    I got myself a X8 for£70 phones 4 u,a month ago put 3sim in it and I live in cheshire,and hstp ahoy spot on fast as a beaver carnt fault it,But the txt delivery tlmes sending&receving are pathetic can be days’???wots that about just waitin for £10,pm,unlimited web now

  100. Ben

    I don’t know if 3 would want to comment on this, but it has been suggested on the thread I started over on the ‘What Mobile – 3 neighbourhood’ section that Delivery Reports are generated by the Network – whether sent to the phone or not, therefore not an extra cost.

    It is also being rumoured that this is in some way linked to the lowering of the MTR’S – see for yourselves (these arn’t just any old posters)

    Of course it would be ironic if they were as we know that 3 actually championed the whole MTR campaign.

    Evan so, it does seem odd that the same Company that wanted to save it’s customers from being ripped off by such charges is now trying to implement a 1p tax on something that has always been FREE.

  101. Ben

    RE: Delivery Report Charges.

    Its a well known fact that 3 likes to trumpet the YouGov ‘Best 3g Network for iPhone/Smartphone’ poll results.

    But it would seem that maybe they didn’t take the hint from last months Ofcom “Most Complained about Mobile Network Provider” charts.

    It would be great PR to show that you DO CARE & LISTEN to your customers if you dropped these DR charges for existing customers.

  102. Moderator: Johanna

    @Ursual Vasey @David – Thanks for your feedback. I’ve sent it on to our product manager and when I get a response I’ll post.

  103. David

    I have to agree with rsenugget’s interpretation of the T&Cs.

    The T&Cs define Additional Services as “additional or supplemental services for which a charge is made in addition to the fixed periodic charges for your Package or Add-on(s)(if applicable).” As no charge was made for text delivery reports when we agreed to the terms, they are not Additional Services as defined by 3. 3 are now making delivery reports an Additional Service going forward by introducing the charge. However, this is a change to existing customer agreements.

    Based on what the Mods are saying, it seems like 3 is also redefining Additional Services in a way that is detrimental to customers without notifying anyone. This would be more than just a change to prices and would require them to notify all customers that they are changing the T&Cs.

    Because none of the three exceptions under 4.1(b) apply and the change is clearly detrimental to the customer, we are entitled under 4.1(b) and 10.1(d) to cancel our contracts without a cancellation fee.

    Even if 3 thinks 4.1 allows them to make this change without allowing us to cancel our contracts, they are still violating 4.1(b) by not providing one month’s notice. I was notified on 18 May that the change goes into effect on 6 June. Either way, 3 is breaking their T&Cs.

    Besides the above, I am pretty sure my phone was sold by 3 with delivery reports enabled by default. In this case, in no way is the customer opting in to this service. Customers who are not savvy enough to turn off this service could find themselves in for quite a surprise when they get their bill for June.

    Mods, would it be possible for a fuller response on this issue and why 3 think it can violate 4.1(b) by not giving one month’s notice?

  104. Ursula Vasey

    I’ve stayed pretty quiet on the issue of the charge for delivery reports thus far, but people seem to have forgotten one thing. Whether this charge can be added or not is a matter of debate, but the timescale involved is not. 3′s own T&C’s say that Non Additional Charges can be changed at any time, as long as 30 days notice is given. Since when have there been 30 days between 16th May and 1st June? I didn’t realise 3 used a different calendar to the rest of us.

  105. arsenugget

    Thanks Sedge, but I’ve already taken advice on the matter and don’t require a call from your company for more information – the supplied contract provides all that is needed. I was aware that my comment wouldn’t have a chance of being published until one of you were online. :o)

    Three’s stance makes no sense. There is no mention of core services in the contract of terms, so arguing that point will end up going nowhere as there was no list of what was core nor what was additional but included as standard, leaving Three with little prospect of defining these services after the agreement was made.

    The contract is very clear – if detrimental changes are made that don’t fall under the glossary definition of Additional Services, customers have the right to terminate. It’s there in black and white, and we all have a copy.

    Clause 4.1(c), and the lack of notice provided by Three, means customers have a very limited amount of time to try and have this resolved if they don’t agree to the changes – and this is because Three have not given the stated period of notice to customers, which is another reason why customers are able to leave the contract.

    IMO there would’ve been little backlash if Three had introduced charging for new contracts only. I think this is going to harm the reputation Three have worked to acquire in recent years to make up for a very turbulent start – despite making a similar mess of things with the withdrawal of “3 at home”. They argued a bad position there, too.

    And lost in the end. ;o)

  106. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Rsenugget – We publish all comments here as long as they don’t contain “anything rude or offensive, any spam, or any comments that look like they have a commercial objective.”

    When you post a comment it also says, “If your comment is approved it will appear on the site within 1 working day of you submitting it. Our Moderators are online Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.” – we weren’t ignoring your messages, I was fast asleep by 12 o’clock :-)

    In response to your query, Three offers SMS delivery reports as an additional service, which isn’t included as part of the core package you signed up to. Three can make changes to these additional services (including changes to pricing) under it’s customer terms. Therefore you aren’t able to end your agreement as a result of this change.

    If you want any more information, I can arrange a call for you.

  107. rsenugget

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Moderators and representatives of Three – please clarify whether this is/was an additional service, or an Additional Service. Additional Service is defined in the glossary included with the terms and conditions as a chargeable extra on top of monthly bill for services not included in the monthly charge. The alternative is additional service without capitalisation, which just means the dictionary description for the two words and has no relevance whatsoever in any of these discussions, as they form no part of any terms or contract agreed by both aprties.

    According to your contract, changes outside of an Additional Service are grounds for the customer leaving the contract if such changes represent a detrimental change to the customer. If delivery reports weren’t charged for, they don’t fall under that description in the glossary, so the termination clause is entirely valid.

    I doubt this’ll get published, as I’m likely the biggest irritant to you in recent weeks. But I’ll say this – it isn’t and wasn’t personal against any particular Three employee. However, changing my contract mid-term and bumping up my costs by 30-50% each month really is taken personally, particularly when Three are now going against the contract I agreed to. They even wrote it up in the first place, so should understand it better than this fool… but this fool has also read the “comments policy” and can see no reason why it wouldn’t be published. It’s not commercial, defamatory, offensive, spam. Three certainly have the right to comment on the contract, as do customers, it doesn’t invade the privacy of anyone, and isn’t a specific technical help request.

    PS – any jobs going in your legal department? Maybe I should’ve asked if there were any openings coming up rather than whether any jobs were actually going… ;o)

    (Submitted again in case my username could be perceived as offensive. Generally carries an “a” or “@” at the start.)

  108. arsenugget

    Moderators and representatives of Three – please clarify whether this is/was an additional service, or an Additional Service. Additional Service is defined in the glossary included with the terms and conditions as a chargeable extra on top of monthly bill for services not included in the monthly charge. The alternative is additional service without capitalisation, which just means the dictionary description for the two words and has no relevance whatsoever in any of these discussions, as they form no part of any terms or contract agreed by both aprties.

    According to your contract, changes outside of an Additional Service are grounds for the customer leaving the contract if such changes represent a detrimental change to the customer. If delivery reports weren’t charged for, they don’t fall under that description in the glossary, so the termination clause is entirely valid.

    I doubt this’ll get published, as I’m likely the biggest irritant to you in recent weeks. But I’ll say this – it isn’t and wasn’t personal against any particular Three employee. However, changing my contract mid-term and bumping up my costs by 30-50% each month really is taken personally, particularly when Three are now going against the contract I agreed to. They even wrote it up in the first place, so should understand it better than this fool… but this fool has also read the “comments policy” and can see no reason why it wouldn’t be published. It’s not commercial, defamatory, offensive, spam. Three certainly have the right to comment on the contract, as do customers, it doesn’t invade the privacy of anyone, and isn’t a specific technical help request.

    PS – any jobs going in your legal department? Maybe I should’ve asked if there were any openings coming up rather than whether any jobs were actually going… ;o)

  109. Dave

    In my humble opinion..

    SMS reports are not an additional service but a standard feature of SMS, sure its a feature that can be turned off… but its still a feature.

    Just because some recent phones have not implemented this ‘standard feature’ does not alter the fact that its a standard across most handsets.

    A classic case of Penny pinching.

  110. kris

    you say we cant i say you can as its a consumers statutory rights not to accept the change of the original agreement. – core or non core terms its a change, which a consumer has rights not to accept,

    lets just leave it @ you say no and i say yeah.

    this could go on for a while

  111. Mike E71

    Three are not the only network to charge for read receipts. You can`t beat `pay as you go` for control though. I`ve had great satisfaction by running the calling credit off – and snapping the SIM card between my fingers if the `conditions` change. (not Three – not yet ;-)

    I believe many more people would move from pre paid SIMS if contracts were truly fixed and not movable during the duration. There`s an untapped market there, I`m sure, but it would perhaps depend on people voting with their feet regarding the current one sided contracts of all telcom`s.


  112. Ben Lowe

    @ Kaz,

    I have no intention of ending my contract. It just winds me up (and many others) when I do nothing but try to promote 3 as a great Network – against all the HATERS only to get kicked in the teeth by sneaky and snide contract changes.

    We as customers dont try and change the Terms and Conditions – as I said before we only signed the contract that was put in front of us, if a change needs to be made then at least show some respect to the people putting money in the 3 coffers and change the T&C for new customers.

    Peace and Love

    Ps, I know that it isnt the mods that are responsible but you guys have to deal with all the crap that comes as a result of these changes.

  113. Moderator: Kaz

    @Ben – I’m afraid they can’t. section 4.1 of our terms and conditions does state this. Ts and Cs.

  114. Moderator: Kaz

    @kris – Thanks for your comments. 4.1 of our terms and conditions state we can modify an additional service during the period of your contract. Please click here to take a look. This is an optional service that can be switched off at any point.

  115. kris

    Its an additional service which was free and now is not, therefore its major change in service.

    It is widely accepted dilvery reports are free! and are on all other networks.

    Three’s terms and conditions must change in order for customers to agree to be charged

    Your customers must agree to be charged once being informed of such change and if that change costs a customer an excessive amount over and above there bill, they have a right not to accept the change.

    It does not matter if its an additional service or not, as long as a customer has used this additional service for a period of time before and plans to continue to use it then its a service change.

    It is not threes contract that governs these rules but what the regulator sets out.

    Sorry to disagree but i have had a personal experience in something very similar with another network over an “additional services” in which i was award compensation cancellation of contract

    Complain to three by phone email and written and record all corresponsence, once you have tried everything with the network go to the regulator.


    Clearly three will defend there side to say no you cannot cancel but be assured take it to the regulator and they will side with the customer

  116. Ben

    Mod – Kaz -

    I’m afraid customers cannot end their agreements as a result of this recent change.


    I wonder !

  117. Moderator: Kaz

    @kris – The introduction of the charge for SMS delivery reports doesn’t amount to a variation of the core terms of Three’s customer terms. Three offers delivery reports as an additional service, which Three can vary under it’s customer terms. I’m afraid customers cannot end their agreements as a result of this recent change.

  118. Jonathan

    For those with iPhones, three won’t get any delivery report revenue from what I can see. The backwards feature set of the iPhone means there is still no delivery report ability, and as far as I know, Three doesn’t have a feature every other UK network has, a short code for delivery reports. (e.g. *0# infront of the text)

  119. kris

    with regards to the charge of 1p for a delivery report if this change in your terms and conditions will cost you a lot say if you send 1000 txts or more you can have your contract cancelled with out penalty and keep the handset

    if the customer service agent refuse make a complaint to the regulator to look at ur complaint and they will side with you and you will be able to terminate and three will recieve a fine for breaching your rights.

    hope this helps everyone

  120. Marc

    @Ben Lowe
    I think the point Kaz was making about it being optional is that you don’t need to have delivery reports on. You can send a text quite well without them, and because of the nature of texting, you’ll probably know if your message has been recieved by the fact you’d get a reply pretty soon.

    However, I do agree that it is unfair that the mobile networks can change things like this whenever they want, yet if you are a consumer you can’t even budge an inch!

  121. Ben Lowe

    @ Kaz,

    Not so small if you’re a hormonal teenager banging out the full 5000 – it would be £50 !

    What annoys me about this is that in terms of the contract the customer cant budge an inch but your company can pull little stunts like this.

    At least respect the contract and implement only on new customers.

    **Rather than hijack this thread, SEE BELOW**


  122. Moderator: Kaz

    @Ben Lowe – This is an optional facility that customers can choose to use and this small charge is designed to contribute to the cost of operating this service and it will apply to all customers.

  123. Ben Lowe

    @ Mods,

    Totally Off Topic I know and therefore apologise for but having trouble trying to get more info as your w/site is just as annoying as ever trying to locate info that is not under any specific category, eg a ‘Latest News’ section would be great.

    Anyway, today I got a text message that as from 1st June there will be a 1p charge for Delivery Reports…. W H A T ! ! !

    You have got to be KIDDING me right ? Will this be a separate charge outside of my 5000 texts ?

    This seems like a very SAD & DESPERATE measure to claw back lost revenue from giving away too MANY texts in the first place – 4700 too many in my case.

    So could you confirm if this applies to ALL customers please – Thankyou.

  124. Moderator: Kaz

    @Gavin – You will not find HSPA+ signal just yet, it has not been rolled out onto our network. We will let everyone know our plans in the near future.

  125. Moderator: Kaz

    @Kade – I’m afraid I can’t give you any more details at the moment. We will keep everyone one updated

  126. Gavin

    I’ve purchased a Premium Dongle today. I’m getting pretty decent speeds on 3G/HSPA.

    I’ve not yet managed to find a HSPA+ signal… would you be able to tell me when my local mast is being upgraded?

  127. kris

    kaz i bought the new premium dongle for when im at work i can watch the footie on sky player but my speed and connectivity are poor, my t mobile e1750 is whipping the bum off the new dongle. I dont kn ow if maybe due to being indoors

    anyway im going to buy an antenna to boost the signal what is the frequency that three run the hspa and hspa+ on so i can buy an optimal antenna.


  128. free

    I am looking forward to the 4g as it is a natural evolution from the 3g that I have got right now.

  129. Kade

    what areas will the trials take place? and have any roll outs begun with 21Mbps?

  130. Moderator: Kaz

    @Mike – Dongles cannot be upgraded, you would need to purchase a newer version. Our new Premium dongle includes HSPA+ technology which is available on PAYG. Click here to find out more.

  131. mike

    will my zte dongle be upgraded by 3 to work with HSPA+ or will i have to buy a new dongle… if so will i be able to buy one from the 3 shop on a pay as you go

  132. Moderator: Kaz

    @James – Just checked your postcode, I can’t see any issues in your area at the moment. Coverage in your area is OK, not excellent though. Hopefully we will be improving coverage in your area sometime soon.

  133. Moderator: Kaz

    @Sam – Sorry to hear this. I think the way forward is to discuss your issue with customer services. I am emailing you a request for your account details, once you have replied I will arrange a call.

  134. James

    would it be possible to check the signal coverage in the (removed by mod) area to see if there is a problem? signals always been a problem, but recently it has died completely!

    thanks :D

  135. Gary Moncrieff

    An informative article thanks but please bash the planners on the head here to allow you to bring me 3G soon, it took them 2 years to approve O2 to use Vodafone masts here for 3G, hasn’t happened yet mind. I think a local politician was trying to get my vote by revealing that ;)

    In terms of Skype I am actually happy Microsoft bought it, Nokia Windows Phones are gonna rock, I am currently fooling with a WP device and boys it’s nice, you can follow my entries on my blog if you wish. If they can integrate Skype into the people hub as well as they have done with Facebook, and the same is happening for Twitter and Windows Live Messenger in 7.5.

    But Skype had Google and others hovering over them as well and in recent times I think Microsoft is the company showing a rejuvenation in terms of focus and product quality. IE9 is a very good browser, Office 2010 is fantastic, Windows 7 is a very good OS, WP is a very compelling and nice experience and Kinnect is the fastest growing consumer electronics product to date. Alot wont agree however.

  136. Zoro25

    Can I please check that Three do not cap network speeds ?

    I’m thinking getting a samsung Galaxy2 and am with T-mobile at the moment. However unless you pay extra for WnW+ WnWMax) they cap your data speeds to 300k.

    So before I switch I’d like to have confirmation that there is not a policy of capping data speeds at three?

    It’s the data speed that more important to me than other other factor other than coverage.

    Thanks in advance.

  137. Sam

    Since the Orange 2G turnoff I no longer get signal in far too many places.
    3G coverage is good round here yes, but without the Orange 2G signal to fall back on I cant get calls or texts in far to many places locally anymore, needs turning back on or I’ll be forced to switch networks :(

  138. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Stew – Nothing’s happening to Three on Skype now Skype has been bought my Microsoft, our relationship hasn’t changed :-)

  139. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Sykes – I’ve taken a look at your postcode and there’s a mast currently affected in your area which is why you’re experiencing problems. Our teams working on getting this fixed as soon as possible :-)

  140. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Martin Waller – Sorry to hear you’re having signal issues in your area. If you want me to take a look at the coverage in your area send through your full postcode (I won’t post it all) and I’ll see if there’s an issue. :-)

  141. Moderator: Sedge

    @ SE- I’ve just taken a look at your postcode and one of your local masts had been affected in the last 24 hours. We’re working on getting it back up and running as soon as we can :-)

  142. stew

    Can a mod let us know what will happen to skype on 3 now that skype has been bought out by Microsoft? I was very unhappy to hear this in the news last night as I rely on skype daily

  143. Nigel Jones

    Useful, plenty of info yet concise, none of the usual marketing rubbish. thanks.

  144. Sykes

    Hi, I’m having very degraded service at the postcode DT1 [Removed by Mod]. Do you have any idea what’s going on? My phone’s on ‘No Service’ inside buildings and very low reception outside.

  145. Martin waller

    I hope 4g is better than 3G in my area at the moment, for the last three weeks it’s been awful, hard to connect on iPhone 4.

  146. SE

    @Kaz BN13 [Removed by Mod]. the checker on the website showed no issues earlier today. It seems to be working if i disable HUSPA.

  147. Moderator: Kaz

    @SE – Please can you supply your postcode so I can check coverage in your area.

  148. Moderator: Kaz

    @Umee – Sorry to hear you are still having data speed issues. I have checked your postcode and there are a couple of masts which still need to be looked at. I’m unsure what the exact faults are, I can ensure you they will both be fixed asap, but I can’t give exact dates at the moment.

  149. Moderator: Kaz

    @Dan C – There are no plans to introduce a HSPA+ checker on

  150. SE

    Is this why i’m having such horrendous connection issues with my old reliable HTC Touch Pro2 at the moment? I’m only able to connect to the internet sporadically and when i can it appears to be suffering some kind of DNS type issue and disconnecting again while the signal level increases. :/ One of my friends suffering similar issues on 3 says customer services told him that there had been changes mader to the network and his phone was no longer compatible. :/

  151. Dan C

    Any ideas when a HSPA+ checker will be on the Three site so we know when we will see it in different areas. I know when ‘Turbo’ HSDPA was being launched there was a map split into areas so customers had an idea when they would see it. Thanks

  152. Umee

    Very Well Job three . 78kbps to 100kbps download speed since they launched All You Can Eat data plan in december 2010.. Anyone has any very good idea how to jump 2G speed to 3G Data speed. Becoz they are useless 5 months gone three people still try to resolve issue. My post code (removed by mod)

  153. Moderator: Kaz

    @Ben – That’s great news.

  154. Moderator: Kaz

    @Paul smith – Thanks for the great comments

  155. Ben


    I too have also seen the benefits of this new HSPA+ network technology – WITHOUT the new dongle – I’m using the ZTE mf112 and have been hitting 10 mbps (allbeit when most people are on bed, but hey it’s fine by me).

    The speeds have been gradually building up from about 6mbps over the last 2 months.

    Ps, Screenshots can be provided if anyone should wish.

    KEEP IT UP 3 – WAHOO ! ! !

  156. Paul smith

    Great article for keeping us informed about three’s movements. But after recieving an iPad 2 on three this week and speed testing at 6 Mb/s download and 1.5 Mb/s up (Bristol) that’s awesome for MBB. IMO. Better than my fixed BT line 5 Mb/s down 0.35 Mb/s up (Sheffield suburbs). keep it rolling out Three great work.

  157. Phil


    You’ve been to Northern Ireland I presume? The coverage in Northern Ireland is a joke to say the least, It’s that poor that sometimes it’s it picks up an Republic of Ireland transmitter even when you’re nowhere near the border of the Republic of Ireland.

  158. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Marc – You’re right, we can’t say too much ;-) We’re keen to get more spectrum, but we can’t chat about our approach to the auction. It’s certainly true to say that low-frequency spectrum has been distributed much more competitively everywhere else in Europe. The auction is the opportunity to address what is a serious competition issue in the UK.

  159. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Thom – The 3G+ symbol on the Samsung Omnia 7 actually denotes faster HSDPA data transfer as opposed to “standard” 3G. HSPA+ is the next evolution again beyond HSDPA and is not yet common in handsets :-)

  160. Marc

    Really hoping you guys mange to bid for (and win) some of the 800Mhz band that will be actioned for LTE. As great as Three have done with the network, it still suffers hugely in some areas because of the 2100Mhz band it uses.
    I doubt you are in a position to say, but will Three and Everything Everywhere bid for the frequencies seperate, or will MBNL bid for it, and share it out?

  161. Mark

    hmm but no mention of bands to be used, shame

  162. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Stew – I think we’ll keep the name to Three ;-)

  163. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Amin – We check all our posts, don’t worry :-)

  164. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Jeremy MacMull – Glad you appreciate the blog post :-) That’s all we can say at the moment I’m afraid, so I won’t be able to give you a timescale but we’ll be sure to update you when we can.

  165. dave c

    Nice to see three letting us know. Nice to see a company face things like this openly.
    I presume you can’t answer but as my phone is hspa+ compliant right now it would be nice to be able to jump onto that from the current hspa.

  166. Thom

    Really pleased to hear your plans on “4G”. I have heard the term used a lot on US blogs and it didn’t seem very straight-forward. I wasn’t even sure if the UK would be using the term.

    I have a Samsung Omnia 7 and that gets great data speeds. That could be partly down to the new IE browser on Windows Phone 7 though. In most areas (I’m in Bedfordshire/Northants) I get a “3G+” icon in the top corner instead of just “3G”. Does that mean I am getting the HSPA+ service already?

  167. Will

    Does this mean you’ll be changing your name to Four? :)

  168. Amin

    Oh my mistake, I didn’t notice there were recent comments on that article.
    Hope to hear from you soon :)

  169. Amin

    Can one of the mods check my post in the all you can eat data thread?
    It’s quite an old article so I don’t think it’s being checked any more.

    Thanks :)

  170. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Stuart – This is all we can say at the moment but we’ll be back to let you know more when we can :-)

  171. Anon

    What I’ve never understood is why 3 has never launched a broadband service for UK customers. Surely with 4G, you could lead the way in providing cheap broadband without the need of a land line, as the amount of people actually using landlines is dwindling. The vast majority of people that have a land line are effectively forced to get one because of the fact that all broadband provided through BT runs through the PSTN. Virgin Media of course have acknowledged the fact that every other company effectively forces consumers to use landlines, and charge their customers for it.

    Three could lead the way in providing 4G broadband for the public, without the need of having to use a traditional land line. Instead we could have “all you can eat” data from three using 4G with good download speeds

  172. RaspyYeti

    It would be nice if 3 could start adding new base sites to turn outdoor only areas in to indoor coverage areas.

  173. Mike E71

    I’m hoping that some of these spectrum changes will help me. A new mast was promised for 3 months ago, but still no signal at times, at home and nationally inside a lot of buildings. I just keep the sims active by making the odd call…

  174. john

    well the improved latency i am all for any idea on how much of a drop someone could expect or a theoretical minimum drop?
    thanks for the article

  175. Sacha

    Thanks for that, really interesting article; it is quite confusing with all the different standards out there. I think the main consideration for most people is what speeds they actually get now and in the future. Similar to fixed line broadband, there’s no point endlessly banging about ‘up to 20mb’ if you get nowhere near it

  176. Jeremy MacMull

    This is excellent on three’s part its a very pleasant change for an operator to be honest and clear in their communication to the public. I for one salute you three. It is also nice that you are only going to start referring to LTE as 4G and not this pseudo 4G HSPA+ as really HSPA+ is just an extension of HSDPA and HSUPA which we have now.

    Don’t get me wrong since all the phones I have are capable of using HSPA+ capabilities ill be very happy with the improvements. Any timescales available for when your 4G network is likely to start being deployed in earnest and are you going to keep us updated on where has got 4 or HSPA+ and gone “live ”

    Thanks again


  177. stew

    Does this mean you’ll change your company name from 3 to 4?
    I’d heard that there wasn’t going to be a lot of LTE space available to mobile networks

  178. Daniel Plummer

    Excellent article! It’s amazing the work and strategies you guys are doing for 4g, and much better than simply renaming your 3g to 4g.

    Three is already the fastest mobile broadband i’ve ever used, and can’t wait for the upgrades :)

    keep up the good work!

  179. Huw


    When you consider that a single 3G mast costs around £100,000 to put up. No company will put one up if it is only going to effect a few customers. Three have gone well above and beyond the call of duty in trying to get as much of the population of the UK as covered as possible but there isn’t much point in putting a cell site in the Scottish highlands or on top of a Welsh mountain is there? I suppose if you wanted to foot the bill yourself they might do :/

  180. Stuart

    Thanks for all the information in your Blog, I found it very interesting
    Is there anyway of finding out if HSPA+ is available in my area? And where it is currently, etc

  181. Phil

    In some places you can’t even get 3g . Maybe you could give the country 100% 3g coverage before you move on to 4g.

  182. Hands0n

    Thank you for such an informative article. It is a hallmark of Three that you guys share this information with us so clearly and concisely.

    I have seen the benefit of your update to HSPA+ in my area – although not having an HSPA+ capable handset the speeds and ping times have greatly improved to the incumbent devices. I have seen just over 6Mbps where previously the best was around 2-3Mbps. Time of day, number of concurrent users etc. all conspire to bring that down somewhat. But the overall experience is one of an ever-improving service.

    It is good to see Three’s commitment to 4G and the very sensible staging of progress towards it. This should inspire confidence in your customers and go a long way to dispelling the rumour mill that suggests that Three will miss out on 4G altogether.

    Nice one Three. Thanks for sharing.

  183. Sol

    Just hope current phones are HSPA+ / LTE compatible.. ^_~
    I’m really not wanting to give up my Desire HD just yet…. lol

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