We’re built for data.

At Three, we love a good stat. And no team loves stats more than CTO, the technical department that I’m a part of. Amongst other things, we manage and maintain our network to bring you the very best experience we can.

It’ll come as no surprise to most of you that the last few years have been pretty important for Three, and not least for CTO. We’ve worked tirelessly to bring you the best network experience we can, especially when it comes to getting you online. Calls and texts are important of course, but our 3G network was made for the mobile internet and we’ve been growing it, and upgrading it, and perfecting it to make it the best it can be. Don’t get me wrong though, we’re not sitting back and twiddling our thumbs – we’re constantly pushing for better.

So recently we came across a stat that for me defines everything we’ve been working towards when it comes to our network and what it was made to do.

Staggeringly, 97% of all the traffic that now travels through our network is data. That’s amazing.

It’s even more amazing when you know that since June last year and September this year (just 14 months) we’ve seen a 427% increase in data usage on Three for smartphone customers. Downloading apps, streaming movies, getting around town with Google Maps, even checking in on Facebook – it all adds up, and you’re doing it now more than ever.

It was only two weeks ago too that we were voted Best Network at the uSwitch.co.uk Mobile Awards; a fantastic accolade that we’re all really proud of. In calling our network the best, the judges said that we’ve ‘come on leaps and bounds in recent years with impressive improvements in coverage’.

You know, back in 2003 when we began our journey as a 3G network, it felt at times like the technology we had at our fingers tips was a bit Tomorrow’s World. It was ahead of its time, and few knew how 3G and mobile data could really be relevant in people’s lives, particularly with a lack of decent handsets.

Fast forward to today, in a market flooded with tablets and smartphones, and there can be no denying the importance of a reliable, powerful network like ours. Just look at the stats…

111 Responses to We’re built for data.
  1. Moderator: Lauren

    @Roy – I’m sorry to read you’re unhappy with us, if there’s anything we can help with please let us know. We’ve edited your comment to remove swearing and would ask you not to swear in your response. A copy of our social media guidelines can be found here.

  2. Roy Stone

    I have been a loyal customer of 3 for 8 years now and I cannot wait to get out of my contract . What a mug I have been putting up with their terrible coverage & robotic useless , Indian call centres, 3 iphone changes later same poor network and calls being dropped straight to answer phone the most shabby network by far ! Shame on you and your lying staff ! Do yourself a favour and avoid like the plague 3 don’t give a [removed by mod] !!

  3. Moderator: Lauren

    @Lee – sorry to read you’re having issues. There’s an issue with one of the masts in the area, it’s being looked in to.

  4. Lee

    2 samsung galaxy s3 and an HTC Sensation on 3, Signal weak 1 to 2 bars all the time in [removed by mod]. Reported several times to customer services, please please find out what is wrong!

  5. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Stuart Jameson – I’m sorry that you’re having an issue with the process of your smartphone repair. Our Executive office are investing this for you.

  6. Stuart Jameson

    Worst network in the UK in my opinion, yeah its the cheapest, but it would need to be having to deal with their dire customer service.

  7. Moderator: Johanna

    @Garry – I’m afraid it’s impossible for us to tell from here what the signal in your home will be like. Your best bet is to order a free PAYG SIM and test the network – that way you can be sure. We hope it is! :-)

  8. Garry

    I don’t know if the signal is better as I have no way to check – I tried an iphone 4s from local three shop but took it back as no signal. I was hoping you could tell me if it has affected my postcode – the coverage map looks the same?
    I would like to switch to three but not if theres no signal at home – go 1/2 mile from home and the signal is fine!

  9. Moderator: Johanna

    @Garry – Yes all maintenance has been completed now, it wasn’t a new mast but an upgraded one. What’s the signal like now?

  10. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Garry – Sorry to be annoying, would you mind sending through your postcode again so we can check it out.

  11. Garry

    Can you tell me if the new mast is functional yet as per your quote below?
    @Garry – I’ve taken another look for you and the store is correct, there’s an upgrade planned for Jan 3 – work complete Jan 4, this may improve the signal for you. The tools we use are regularly updated so when Sedge checked for you before it may not have been on the map.

  12. Moderator: Kaz

    @Garry – It’s difficult to say, it depends if the cell is pointing in your direction and that’s something we can’t tell you. I would really like to think that it would improve your coverage, but confirm 100%.

  13. Garry

    @Kaz – Ok thats fair enough – are you able to tell whether it will be close enough to improve my signal though?

  14. Moderator: Kaz

    @Gerry – I’m afraid we can not give locations of mast for security reasons, sorry.

  15. Garry

    @johanna Interesting thanks – can you tell me the location of the mast so I can tell if it will be close enough to me to make a difference or can you tell me this from your system? Cheers

  16. Moderator: Johanna

    @Garry – I’ve taken another look for you and the store is correct, there’s an upgrade planned for Jan 3 – work complete Jan 4, this may improve the signal for you. The tools we use are regularly updated so when Sedge checked for you before it may not have been on the map.

  17. Garry

    @sedge: Hi contacted you a few weeks ago about new masts in NG25 [removed by Mod]. You said there were non-planned but the guy in my local 3 shop I visited yesterday said there is one planned near here early in the new year. I have had an iphone 4s to try the signal on a 7 day trial, and I can only get very patchy coverage upstairs occasionally. Can you confirm about new masts or not? Cheers

  18. Moderator: Johanna

    @Oli – We’re always looking at amending our plans but at the mo we’re not changing our MBB packages as they’re very competitive.

  19. oli

    Have you guys ever thought about offering bigger packages for mobile broadband have 15GB package available to PAYG-ers?

  20. Moderator: Johanna

    @Shane Dean – We’ve discovered that these SMSs are sent to our One Plan customers if they have an add-on too – it seems to confuse the system. You shouldn’t have a need for an add-on any more so you’ll just need to cancel it by calling 333. Let us know if this resolves the issue and sorry we don’t want to wake you up in the early hours!

  21. Shane Dean

    Hi guys, it’s been a while and this is probably the wrong thread but…

    I’m on The One Plan contract, and have been for around a year now, but still receive text messages telling me that I have reached my data limit. I mentioned it a few months ago and you said it was teething problems and it went away but now it has returned. Annoying enough that I receive these messages but more so by the fact that, for example, I get them at 3.04AM!

    Please, if it is truly unlimited data, stop telling me that I’m close to my ‘limit’!

    Other than that, great service Three.

  22. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Garry – I’ve taken a look at your postcode, you’re in an area with only outdoor coverage at the moment – there’s currently no new masts planned for your area I’m afraid.

  23. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Garry – Don’t worry, I won’t publish it here :)

  24. Garry

    @ sedge – can I email rather than display on here?

  25. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Garry – If you want to send your postcode through on here we’ll happily check it out for you :)

  26. Garry

    I visited my local 3 store yesterday and they couldn’t tell me the coverage in my area due to a computer issue!
    He “thought” it may be ok but couldn’t guarantee. He also said three were “possibly” adding a new mast here in January.
    Can you tell enlighten me so I can decide whether to switch form orange for one of your iphone 4s plans?

  27. Moderator: Johanna

    @JD – the slower speeds after 6pm are likely to be due to congestion, so yes the new mast should help this.

  28. JD

    Johanna i hope it will help because i get 3.5kbps after 6pm & thats when i want to play my ps3 online. So when this has happened will you stop managing [capping] between 6pm till 12? i know its selfish of me but i would like atlest 3.5mbps between this time. It would save me paying bt £150 to put in a land line.

  29. Moderator: Johanna

    @JD – I’ve just checked your postcode and you have a new mast in your area within the next 3 months.

  30. JD

    so you do cap it so i pay £25 for 7g just for you to not be capable or even try to supply me a good connection between the time i get home & go to bed. My post code is AB[removed by Mod] i really doubt you will ever improve your service. i have decided to get skyanyway glad i went pay as you go THREE SUCKS

  31. Moderator: Johanna

    @Alan Bell – We’ve sent you an email and are looking into this for you….

  32. Alan Bell

    @kaz, yes i keep getting told i should have indoor and outdoor coverage, but being told i should have coverage isn’t going to change the fact that i don’t have ANY coverage :( Im really getting sick of this, for over 3 months ive been trying to get this sorted, and yet again ive got the same answer i got 3 months ago.. “I’ve checked for any issues and all your local masts are working OK, you should have indoor and outdoor signal”
    NO I DON’T!
    Send one of your engineers to my house to check if you don’t believe me, maybe then you’ll all stop telling me i should have coverage for that address, and instead do something about it. either that or stop taking money off me every month for something you’re NOT supplying me with.
    look, like i suggested the other day, i do think its time to get legal advice on this, because i dont feel like you are taking me seriously, You have all my details, sort something out please

  33. Moderator: Kaz

    @rushden9 – thanks, removing it now.

  34. rushden9

    @kaz you have not removed the post code from Lorraine wiles last comment.
    @Lorraine wiles try and do a speed test on your mobile and see what your speeds are and when you try to connect to the internet on a computer are you using tethering in the phone menu on the galazxy s11 or cable my phone is a galazxy s11 aswell it works great.

  35. Lorraine Wiles

    @Kaz, hello again, i have just replied to any email you sent me with my details

  36. Moderator: Kaz

    @Lorraine Wiles – Thanks for supplying these details, we will continue our investigations and get back to you. Regarding coverage in your area, I’ve checked for any issues and all your local masts are working OK, you should have indoor and outdoor signal.

  37. Moderator: Kaz

    @Davidc – sorry to read this. Please can you provide a full postcode so I can check for any issues and upgrades in your area.

  38. Patrick

    Unfortunately 3 still insist on forcing filtering down the throats of all their PAYG customers, regardless of whether it was asked for or even needed. To make things worse the page that shows the block appears to advertise the very sorts of websites that they are blocking.

    As I’ve previously said operators are fooling themselves if they think that this sort of filtering will stop determined teenagers from accessing this sort of material. All it really achieves is the annoyance of your paying adult customers without any real protecting for the children, and the fact that you yourselves acknowledge that the filtering blocks the wrong websites just goes to show how badly the system is run in any case.

    And asking for a fee fom a card – even a small one – in order to verify age is little better than a mugging in my opinion. The amount is irrelevent – you are demanding money to stop doing something that you shouldn’t have been doing to begin with.

    If stopping children from accessing adult material is so important then perhaps you shouldn’t be selling them phones in the first place?

    I realise that this check as unpleasant as it is is unlikely to be removed, but surely some sort of check when the account is first created to add topups is technically feasible for phones bought outside of 3 stores? Couldn’t some sort of check be added to the My3 website so people at least don’t have to waste time navigating through a menu and then wasting even more time waiting for somebody to take their call? Surely it would be best to minimise the inconvenience?

  39. Davidc








  40. Lorraine Wiles

    @Kaz, thank you for looking into this issue, before i tell you the main game i have the trouble with, Sedge has replied to my earlier posts about the transmitter in my area, and said there are no plans to upgrade or issues with the mast in my area, which is (removed by mod)
    do you know what rushden9 means when he posted “have three activated x-series silver so any active block’s are removed (unless you have x-series active you might have conection issues)”? could this be my port problems?

    anyway the game i play is mechwarrior 4 mercenaries, its an old microsoft game which was taken over by http://www.mektek.net and is downloadable from them free of charge, the game relies on direct pc to pc connections in order to play and if any of the ports dont connect it wont let you log into a gameserver..

    the setup files can be downloaded here, i dont think you even need to register in order to download them…


    the next link is for a part of the forum where the port forwarding issues and solutions are (unfortunately no answers to mobile port problems, but there maybe enough info here to help you understand and to fix my problem *fingers crossed*)…


    as for my signal issue, my gs2 like most phones has a small gold connector under the battery cover for an external arial, could getting such an arial help solve my connection issues at home?

  41. Lorraine Wiles

    @rushden9, thank you for the info about activating x-series silver, although i have no idea what it is. As for my phone, i have the samsung galaxy s2, i also have a htc wildfire s available, (payg on three)
    i have tried all possible ways of connecting both phones online, and on 3 different pcs, winxp media center on one pc, win 7 home on another and win 7 ultimate on the 3rd, same outcome on each, using PFPortChecker from portforward.com to test to test the ports each time, all pings came back unreachable, today ive got hold of a three payg zte dongle, tried that and all ports open, signal and d/l speed still crap though, anyway i can now contact three again knowing what to ask them for. not only that but kaz has replied asking for more details on the game that wont run, so fingers crossed this will all soon be sorted out and my faith in Three restored ;)
    i do feel now that maybe i was a little over the top with my last post, but im at my wits end with this problem, its been going on now since august :(
    anyway thanks again to both you and kaz for your replies :)

  42. rushden9

    @Lorraine wiles to be totally honest with you until very recently i was getting 7mb download speed was over the moon but I think three have reduced the speeds even more so during certain hours which I respect I just watch a film that is allready saved on my phone. What you saw was true 50 gb now it is 73 gb but I download my big files and watch things on my laptop after 21.00 or 22.00 I check download speeds alot and find it works well. Can I just ask what type phone have you got and have three activated x-series silver so any active block’s are removed (unless you have x-series active you might have conection issues) also have you tried using a different phone as the phone might be faulty or like I found with my nokia n8 that there must have been an app that was causing me problems as using the phone as a wireless modem was fine but if i tried to use the cable and connect via Nokia Ovi Suite it would not connect (software issues) let me know your make and model if you want and I will see if I can help.

  43. Moderator: Kaz

    @JD – Sounds like you may have a faulty mast in your area. If you can supply me a full post I will check for any issues and future upgrades.

  44. Moderator: Kaz

    @Lorraine Wiles – Really sorry to read that you’re not happy. We have looked into your porting issue and wondered if you could let us know which game you’re playing that causes this issue, this will help in our investigations? However, if you would like me to arrange a call to discuss this issue and your coverage issue I’m more than happy. I have emailed you a request for some more account details so I can arrange this call. I’m sure it can be resolved. Thanks.

  45. Lorraine Wiles

    i think its time i sort legal advice!
    why? well im annoyed at the none existent service for a start, especially at home, (yet when i signed up for the phone, and even now Threes online coverage checker says good indoor and outdoor coverage for phonecalls and broadband) – threes answer “we’re sorry about the lack of service for your area and theres no plans to upgrade the service in the future”
    How is it that you think its ok to take £35 a month off of a single disabled mum with 2 small children, who’s on a low income for a plastic ornament. i decided on a mobile phone over a fixed line due to being dissabled, its more practical for me, but i might as well have got a fixed line, because i have to leave the phone or charge constantly (or turn it off) otherwise the constant searching for a network and trying to connect kills a fully charged battery in an hour (also the cause of the phone being constantly warm / hot due to the power its consuming). If i was to have an accident at home or there was a fire, i wouldnt even be able to call for help.
    Another deciding factor for getting a mobile over a fixed line, was because of the unlimited data downloads + tethering.. i read all there was / is to do with the data side of the contract, even the fine print before getting the phone and it didnt and STILL doesnt state anywhere that it is a service restricted internet connection. for example.. a direct tcp and udp connection to a pc online is blocked, when i ask if i can have the blocked ports unblocked, i get told a pc on the internet cant connect directly to my phone or tethered pc due to being on multiple internal networks… ? and that answer came after numerous phonecalls to threes tech support. totalling over 20+ hours (even then it wasnt them that told me abput the multiple internal networks, i was told on here. but even though i now know why i cant directly connect to a pc online, im still waiting to be told that they will sort the problem. it is possible to set up portforwarding through multiple internal networks to me from the net.

    you know.. if i was to go around taking £35 every month off of a disabled person and not give anything in return, i’d probably be arrested, how is it that you can get away with it? i think its time i found out if you can get away with it

  46. Lorraine Wiles

    @rushden9, i just read one of your posts concerning slow network/downloads and was just wondering how on earth you’ve been able to download 50 GB of data? or is that meant to be 50 MB?

    i can only get a signal about 10-20% of the time, but even when i have got a full signal, the download speeds im getting are at best around 50 kBs, i doubt i could d/l anywhere near that amount of data if i was downloading 24/7/all month lol, not only that but due to “multiple internal networks” stopping me from playing online games, file sharing and all other point to point connections, i doubt there’s 50 gb of data left out on the net that id want to download :(

  47. JD

    so you do cap it so i pay £25 for 7g just for you to not be capable or even try to supply me a good connection between the time i get home & go to be THREE SUCKS

  48. rushden9

    Hi Sedge, This is the link I commented about information given is for mobile broadband users not mobile phone broadband users do you really read what people comment here or do you just make out that you do a bit puzzeled maybe 1 day we can have a coffee face to face and I will see if you do really listen, Don’t get me wrong I am 1 of the customers that want 3 to work but there is still alot missing. LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS AND YOU WILL LEARN ALOT.

  49. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Rushden9 – We just don’t want you to be bombarded with people knocking at your door ;) I’ve taken a look at your postcode and you appear to be in an area with strong indoor and outdoor coverage, the alteration in speed in your area could be due to traffic management – we do this as we want to ensure the best experience for the majority of our customers. You can read more about that here. I’m sorry that a member of our CS team didn’t call you back when they said they would, would you like me to arrange a call for you so you can speak to someone about the coverage in your area?

  50. rushden9

    Hi again, I thourght you would have commented a bit more but that tells me something nn10 [Removed by mod] sorry but what difference does it make whether you post or not the postcode or would someone send a mafia hit squad I best get the kettle on!!!!!!

  51. Moderator: Sedge

    @Rushden9 – Could you let me know your full postcode (I won’t publish it!) and I’ll see if there’s any known issues in your area.

  52. rushden9

    Hi Sedge, I had a look at the last post you posted to JD with the link and rang the 500 number and that is only for mobile broadband not mobile phone broadband surely three would include in the same link the 333 contact number for mobile phone broadband customers as some people get confused just thought I would mention it. I will say that over the weekend I experienced very slow speeds so slow it was unbearable now I have used 50 gb of data and when I contacted three he said after a certain amount of usage the speeds drop drasticly he said he would look into it and ring me back in 30 mins now I am not been funny but it is now 49 hours and 30 mins and still no call now you said a while back that how ever much you use you DO NOT reduce the speeds for high user’s (bar 6 till midnight which is understandable) but the lies from 333 are still happening I am not saying move your call centre from India what I am saying is that if all us customers got together and complained to otelo I am sure they would believe us and maybe even fine 3 for the call centre service given to customers. What I am trying to say is what is the point of battling to get customers offering great services ie all you can eat data when the first problem they have they call 333 and get lied to that makes people angry and some will say I would sooner pay an extra £20 and some will leave because of it now that is a bit of a crazy business theory I think why don’t 3 give new things a rest and find out who is lying to the customer have words give notices and give a god damn well clean up because once your major problem is solved everything will just fall into place. And just remember that the world is still in a resesion and that people are desperate to work (hint hint). RANT MAYBE OVER.

  53. James

    Just to add to Isabelle/Dan C’s comments: data roaming bundles are a gaping hole in your offering at the moment, especially as now all of the other networks who you poke fun at for restricting UK data now offer pretty reasonable data options for abroad!

    I’ve ended up with SIMs for Germany, Spain, France etc, and a Vodafone UK pre-pay SIM to use in other countries with 25MB for £2 per day. In short: I’m spending zero with Three when I’m abroad, if you sort this out my SIM will stay in and I’m bound to receive the odd call on top of the data bundle, too ;)

    We’re all data hungry people, that’s why we signed up! We don’t like being cut off just because we travel – looking forward to hearing about the bundles. It’s contract renewal time soon, so don’t leave it too long. This is becoming a deal breaker! :)

  54. Moderator: Sedge

    @ M Wellman – Please could you send through your full postcode again so I can look into this for you :)

  55. Moderator: Sedge

    @ JD – We manage speeds at busy periods to ensure the best experience for the majority of our customers. You can find out more about this here.

  56. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Steph – I’ve taken a look at your area under the ‘UK’s fastest growing mobile network’ post on your previous comment :)

  57. M wellman

    Any one? Still get very slow speeds this has been going on
    For 3 weeks now with no resolve. I do not believe I have had
    a straight answer from cust services. I even did a field test and have
    proof that my home mast must have a fault as speeds are very good
    on nearly any other mast I use. Just how long is this going to go on for?
    I have requested and engineer goes out to fix the mast (2 weeks ago) but so far I have not
    had a straight answer to this question. Has one been out to fix the mast or not
    Next step may have to be Ofcom.

  58. JD

    6pm till midnight three mobile is useless 3.2kbps. i was told in 2010 this would improve but its nearly 2012 & still no sign of 3 trying to keep this customer.

  59. steph

    Indoor and outdoor coverage at Horbury Bridge , Wakefield is non existent ,calls out are impossible ,is the local mast going to be fixed this year ?

  60. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Jonathan Statt – I’ve taken a look at your postcode, there’s maintenance work under way in your area at the moment which could be affecting your signal. You do appear to be in an area with indoor and outdoor coverage, unfortunately I can only see the next three months plan but it doesn’t look like there’s a new mast coming to your area within that time period. For the most thorough postcode check I’d recommend calling 333 or tweeting @ThreeUKSupport – they’re a dedicated channel to look into your issues. We’re of course, always happy to help here when we can :)

  61. Moderator: Sedge

    @ T.B. – Have you had any luck with this today? Would you like me to arrange a call for you?

  62. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Richard – Would you like me to arrange a call for you so we can look into this?

  63. Jonathan Statt

    (NOTE FULL POSTCODE FOLLOWS) Are the moderators able to see further ahead than just the next 3-4 months which customer services have access to in terms of planned cell improvements? Where I live, AL2 [Removed by mod], the signal is VERY marginal. Living in a town house, I get a “just” usable signal on the top floor, but nothing anywhere else. Fortunately most of the time, its the top floor I need the signal, particularly data. But I really hoping Three will fix the signal blackout zone which can be seen on the map as there are quite a number of houses in that area. Other networks fallback to 2G which penetrates into the building better, but Three no longer does this at this postcode.

  64. T.B

    Got my 3 mobile iPhone yesterday, still can’t make calls today.. I keep getting a service message saying I’ll be connected in 24 hours when I try and call. Every time I call support (spent 2 hours today) I get transferred around every branch of customer service, each saying its someone else responsibility and telling there’s no record of the mobile number for the SIM I was given, my address or my name. Not impressed.

  65. Richard

    @Sedge: Thanks for the check, but the last 72 hours does not explain the appalling degradation that has taken place since last year. It’s not that I will “continue to see improvements”, there have been no improvements to see – in fact the opposite is unfortunately true. Before I turned the data connection off the speeds – if I could get a connection – reminded me of a 14.4 modem in 1995.

  66. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Jonathan Bowman – I’ve taken a look at your area and you appear to have indoor and outdoor coverage. There’s currently no plans for the masts in your area.

  67. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Richard – I’ve taken a look at your postcode and there appears to be a mast that’s been affected in the last 72 hours, our team are looking into the problem that’s been raised. There’s also a planned mast for your area which should be live within 3 months – once that mast is up and running you should continue to see improvements in your area.


    hi guys,
    do you know if 3 will be upgrading the network around my area as I only get from 0 to 1 bar where I stay ML9[Removed by mod]


  69. Raymond

    Thanks so much :-)

  70. Richard

    @Johanna – Certainly we can do this again. My postcode is PO12 [Removed by mod], and AFAIK I am less than a mile from the nearest tower. I haven’t moved house and where I used to get full signal indoors, I now struggle to get 2 bars outside – just checked now and 1 bar is all I can currently get outside.

  71. Moderator: Johanna

    @ M Wellman – I’m emailing you now, so we can get some more info from you and look into this.

  72. Moderator: Johanna

    @Jonathan Statt – We manage traffic on peer to peer sites during peak times to make sure the customer experience is strong and consistent for the majority.

  73. M wellman


    Have been dealing with the 333 guys and this has been going on for nearly 2 weeks now.
    They said that there might be an issue with the new mast but would not go into details.
    Your saying that there is not any issues. It’s funny how in the first week it worked very fast around 6000 Kbps
    And now it is generally under 100kbps, I have even stood right by it with full signal strength
    And have not got anything over 100kbps. If I go to the other transmitter up the road and stand near it
    with full signal I got 8000kbps which is very good. So it looks like there’s a fault with the king land crescent
    mast or three are traffic shaping speed reducing the mast that serves my home address thus making it
    impossible to use “all you can eat data”. If indeed three are traffic shaping my home mast making it unusable
    then is disgraceful as it was clearly asked by me and the reply was we don’t do that on this network .

  74. Moderator: Johanna

    @Richard – This shouldn’t be the case, if you post your full postcode (we won’t publish it) we can check the network in your area for you.

  75. Moderator: Johanna

    @Raymond – It should be available now, but we’re just checking in with our technical team to see if it’s been fully tested.

  76. Moderator: Johanna

    @Dan C – Really valuable feedback Dan, I’ve past it on to the correct team. I hope you had a good time in Austria :-)

  77. Richard

    I agree with Steve (with the capital S) from 1st November. I’m also in a PO postcode area but rather than a new customer have been with 3 for 7(ish) years. Over the last year I’ve seen the network speeds drop until there is no connection at all. There are times it’s almost impossible to make a telephone call or send a text without multiple attempts. I turned my data connection off a few months ago as it was completely pointless leaving it on, it only wasted the battery. Now I use the data capabilities of my phone via wi-fi only, as at least I can get a worthwhile signal on that. Sorry to be so negative, but I am looking at my stats (memories and recollections) and while it’s nice that you feel you are doing so well, it’s not so visible around here.

  78. Raymond

    Do you know when the xperia arc update will be available? thanks.

  79. Moderator: Johanna

    @M Wellman – I’ve had a look at the network in your area and there are no reported issues. In fact you’ve just had a brand new mast very near to you. You should be able to use data as you wish and as promised. If you call 333 the team will be able to run some diagnostics and find out what’s effecting your speeds. Come back to us if you need to.

  80. M wellman

    Another test with 4 bars of signal 11.45 am

    96 Kbps which is unusable


  81. Jonathan Statt

    As far as I understand Three DO throttling for certain application types at certain times of day. Although Three provide a great service through their “all you can eat” data offerings, as radio spectrum is limited, I fear that throttling is more likely to increase, or that the network just slows down at peak hours, in order to balance the data over the network limitations. People are cancelling their home broadband in favour of using Three instead but I am just not sure how far this can really scale.

  82. Dan C

    I second the data roaming request. Currently on holiday in Austria using a different sim because I get 25MB free a day….. shame that 3 Like Home was dropped as all other 3 networks seem to still offer it, if not on looking at the site today Three Austria offer some bundles including for 59 euro 250MB of use. I would be more than happy to add this on before I go away knowing i dont need another sim and can use data on the move without a big bill.

    As you say bundles are being looked into could you also consider the ‘top data’ users so not just something like a 5MB/25MB/50MB option but look at something 100MB+ too .


  83. M wellman

    @Kaz here’s another link to 33kbps which is unusable!!!


  84. M wellman


    69kbps with 3 to 4 bars of signal. It took 30 seconds just to load this blog page up which is not good…

  85. Moderator: Kaz

    @M wellman – don’t worry, I will not publish your postcode.

  86. Moderator: Kaz

    @Isabelle – We are currently looking into data roaming options for 2012, can’t give you any more details at moment but watch this space for further announcements.

  87. M wellman

    @ Kaz do you have an email and I can give you all the info. (bh15) I don’t want to put my full post code on the blog.

  88. Moderator: Kaz

    @M wellman – Sorry to hear that your data speeds have changed. Sounds like there is a local issue in your area, please can you supply a full postcode and I’ll check.

  89. M wellman

    Hi can anyone help. I’m a new customer with 3 using an iphone 4s. The first 7 days the Internet on the phone was perfect very fast up and down (6000 & 1500). But now the download is unusable but I still get 1500 upload. If I leave my house and walk so the phone is on a different transmitter I get the much faster up down speeds back. I get three to four signal bars at home inside and four outside my house. When I took out the all you can eat contract I specifically asked if there was any speed reducing or traffic shaping and was told NO we don’t do that on this network so based on that I joined three. I have spoken with cus services and have told them that their could be a problem with the (Poole king land crescent mast) that was over a week ago now and the Internet on the phone is almost unusable. The web page load up time is slower than an iphone 3G with 1 bar of service on another network. So is there a problem with that mast or are three traffic shaping or speed restricting me on this transmitter because if they are then they are ruining my experience with the new 4s and that was not what I was told when I signed up for a new contract. If nothing changes soon I will have to leave as I feel I have been miss sold..

  90. Clarke

    Do three have any updates they’re willing to disclose in regards to coverage improvements in Northern Ireland?

    There are still quite a few places that I travel to where 3G is either incredibly sketchy or just not available at all. It means I have to carry another phone on another network so that I can access email on the go, given that Three do not support any data over 2G (as confirmed by Three’s executive office).

  91. Raymond

    The Sony Ericsson Product blog says my kit is released 1246-9209 yet still no update? im confused ive got the xperia arc.

  92. Moderator: Kaz

    @Luke – we no longer support WLM as a free service. Regarding Facebook and Twitter, if you access Twitter through My3 it will be free and will not eat into your data usage and you can gain free access to Facebook by using 0.facebook.com or if you own a feature phone, you can gain free access using the following app

  93. Moderator: Kaz

    @J Ong – Glad you are loving HSPA+ and thanks for the great comments. We are constantly improving our network to make the mobile internet an even better experience.

  94. Moderator: Kaz

    @daniel – Thanks for the great comments and welcome back!

  95. J Ong

    I am lucky enough to live in a location with the HSPA+ update to cell services and have been using the E367 on the network for sometime now. And generally the connection is reliable and fairly quick. Definitley an improve over the older 3G modems and none HSPA+ network. This is after much testing when using a USB router and direct into the USB port of my machines

    However with a full signal I have never exceeded above 9Mbits when performing a line test. When not being throttled I have managed download rates that report a transfer rate of 1+ MB / Second ( Roughly 8Mbits).

    Ping times over a number of different test times and days generally vary from best case 40ms to worst case 300ms althought I have notice in game pings exceeding 2 seconds. 250ms is bad enough to be kicked of some servers for excessive lag.

    The peak time usage throttling document also states that it does not throttle gaming or general web. I have noticed lag when playing online games is noticeable during the throttling period mentioned in the document. I won’t attribute all of the lag issues to Three’s network but it is evident that there is a level of throttling involved on a data type that is not listed as being throttled.

    The network as it stands seems to reflect its primery design which is data for smart devices, Possibly a little tweaking needed for those who only use it for data services via dongles.

    Are there plans to improve the network to the higher rates that HSPA+ can acheive ?

  96. Daniel

    I joined three when it first came to the UK. My number was an 07782 3xx xxx number – so it was one of the very first – but unfortunately my experience with reliability wasn’t great, and the video-calling novelty wore off quickly (at 50p/min). After a C-grade employee (Gareth somebody?) of 3 was quoted as saying something along the lines of “forget Internet, nobody wants to browse the Internet on a phone, it’s all about the video calling” (which sadly I cannot cite or link to) I pretty much fled as that was all I wanted it for, and as 3 could not hold a phone call between a 3G and a 2G hand-off as a travelling techie I was getting a *lot* of dropped calls.

    I took out my new 3 contract two weeks ago, with an unlimited data tariff, and I have to say that I am so impressed with not only the throughput but the stability on my 3G connection. I drive around making calls, listening to streaming radio and have hooked up my phone to my laptop, and it’s fantastic.

    The only one time I have lost a signal was when I was riding through an obscure village on my motorbike, and my streaming radio dropped out … for about five minutes. But I’ll let you off :)

  97. Luke

    Its good that your built for data… its good that its fast for me, but whats not good is the “free” services you allow access to, eg: facebook, twitter, live messenger… is there something going on but most of the time they fail to work for me.. making me use an alternative which obviously cuts into my usage.. is this done on purpose to make people use their allowances and then you get more traffic/money from them or is it actually a fault that no one is reporting… or not enough maybe…

  98. Sunguy

    Its nice that 3 have published this statistic – but I really do think you need to invest more in data infrastructure. I hold 2 phones one on thee and the other on the big red and white network.

    I am so grateful that I have a 2nd carrier as the absolute majority of the time, my 3 iPhone 4 cant download even emails quickly enough to be useful

    Three – great value – not much use for doing anything too useful…..as the old adage goes – you gets whats your pays for!

  99. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Josh – We’re delighted you’re having a good experience with Three, and we’re determined it to keep it that way. The submission referenced the busiest sites at the busiest times of day – and there are short term things we will do to mitigate against this, such as adding extra sectors to our sites. In the longer term, though, additional spectrum is needed to roll out new technologies, such as LTE, and increase performance and capacity.

  100. steve

    Well I’m very pleased with 3 for my data usage. I got my first 3 data dongle about 4 years ago I think, and have progressed through a variety of different dongles to a Wifi Dongle on PAYG. It copes with all I ask of it, often at faster speeds than my home broadband! It helps when I need to manage my site and I’m not at my desk!

  101. Moderator: Johanna

    @Christian – We always publish comments, so long as they adhere to our policy – which is pretty liberal! Of course we care about our existing customers and if you’re not getting a good service we’d like to try and resolve this for you. I’m going to email you now.

  102. Moderator: Johanna

    @Frank – Sure, just had a look and there is some maintenance on a nearby mast – fix date 9th November and then a mast upgrade in December.

  103. Christian

    Here is the big problem Three, you’ve grossly oversold, and yet you’re still selling. You don’t care about your existing customers, just scamming new people.

    I can’t get a good 3G internet connection anywhere. 20KBps and constant disconnections isn’t good enough. When I phone your customer service team, they’re polite but they can’t help, they don’t know how because your company hasn’t bothered to train them, and they’re overworked themselves (20 minute phone wait times).

    Three mobile, you’re scam artists, and I hope you’re put out to grass on it. (Will be interesting to see if you publish this, don’t expect you to, you don’t get about existing customers or their feedback).

  104. Steve

    “It’s even more amazing when you know that since June last year and September this year (just 14 months) we’ve seen a 427% increase in data usage on Three for smartphone customers.”

    That’s great for you, but why does it mean that all your customers take the inverse hit: less than a 25% of the speed they were getting just 14 months ago? This is what I’m hearing from customers here (PO14). I’m a new customer on ‘all you can eat’ data, and your old customers HATE me. I’ve been moaning to them about 3 download times being like dial up, and they tell me it’s my fault!!! They say that since you have introduced ‘all you can eat’ they need to buy a lot less toilet paper.

    I am not a happy customer; I have a 2 year contract giving me an internet connection so slow I think that it’s actually invisible pigeons flying back and forth to my phone with the data.

  105. Daniel

    Id love to see what sort of traffic levels the network uses daily :P

  106. Cluons

    Hmm, built for data you say? Looks rather awful to me…

    51 packets transmitted, 42 received, 17% packet loss, time 50098ms
    rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 61.922/185.466/970.274/201.840 ms

  107. Frank

    Hi, Can you have a look what’s going on in my area? S3 [removed by Mod]. Data speed is as low as 0.01Mpbs all the time, with 0.1Mbps upload speed. Im on iPhone 4S.

  108. Anowanul Kabir


  109. Isabelle

    Great stat. I’d like to know when you’re planning to have international data romaing bundles? I’m really surprised that you don’t already offer this.

  110. Josh

    It’s great that you’ve developed a network that can, from my experience, deal with current demand, but you also made a submission to Ofcom recently saying that you were worried that you were going to run out of capacity if the new spectrum licences aren’t auctioned soon. Can I ask how you are going to continue to give such good service (with AYCE data) when you acknowledge that it’s running out, and the new spectrum licences are a way off?

  111. C Roche

    I am so happpy I chose you as my network. My iPhone experience wouldn’t be as good as it is if I wasn’t with you.
    Thank you so much.

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