When it comes to mobile network discussions, most talk these days is about 5G. But there’s still plenty of life left in 4G, and today Three has announced further enhancements to its 4G network.
At a time when the average monthly data usage on Three’s network has exceeded 10GB per month (for comparison, the UK average is 2.9GB), the network will bring performance improvements of up to 150% for subscribers.
The upgrade programme will run alongside Three’s 5G rollout until 2023, with more 4G spectrum being offered from the use of 1400MHz spectrum (band 32), plus refarming existing 3G spectrum for 4G.
6,000 sites, which carry 80% of Three’s traffic, will get 1400MHz. Users with a compatible handset can expect speed improvements of up to 150%, while those without will still see an uplift of around 50%.
12,500 sites will achieve a 40% speed improvement by converting some 3G spectrum to 4G.
The most congested areas will see the changes by the end of 2019. So far 3,960 sites have benefitted from a 15% performance boost through carrier aggregation (signified on many handsets by a 4G+ icon).
“5G is a game changer for Three’s current and future customers. It will bring faster speeds, a better experience and masses of capacity which will benefit our 4G customers as well. While we are investing heavily in 5G, 4G is still very important for our mobile and home broadband services.
“These upgrades will ensure that our data hungry customers are getting the best possible 4G experience as 5G rolls out.”David Dyson, chief executive officer at Three UK
For 1400MHz, Three stated that 1.82 million customers are using a compatible device, which are:
Apple: iPhone XR, iPhone XR CDMA, iPhone XR China (Dual SIM), iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS CDMA, iPhone XS China (Single SIM), iPhone XS Max CDMA, iPhone XS Max China (Dual SIM), iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max
HTC: M10, Pixel, Pixel XL, U
Google: Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL
Huawei: Mate 10 Pro, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X, Mate 20 X 5G, P20 Pro, P30, P30 Pro, Huawei B525, Huawei B535, Huawei AI Cube
LG: G7 ThinQ, V30
OnePlus: Six, Six T, Seven, Seven Pro, Seven T, Seven T Pro
Oppo: Find X, RX17 Pro
RIM: Krypton, KeyOne 2
Samsung: Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 5G, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 10 5G
Sony: Xperia XZ, Xperia XZ Premium, Xperia XZ1, Xperia XZ1 Compact, Xperia XZ2, Xperia XZ3, Xperia XZ4 (PF43), Xperia 1, Xperia 10