Three has announced its 4G mobile plans and it looks like the old saying is true; good things come to those who wait. But it’s going to be a serious wait.
4G won’t be touching down on Three’s network until December. Even then, it’ll only be launching in three cities first of all, Birmingham, London and Manchester.
The 4G rollout across Three’s network will begin in earnest in January 2014 and by the end of 2015, Three aims to have 98 per cent of the population able to get 4G. The slices of spectrum that Three won in the 4G auction and the government’s Mobile Infrastructure Plan suggest that wherever you are in the UK, you’ll be able to get some 4G coverage.
Read Recombu Digital’s guides to 4G and the 4G Spectrum AuctionThe good news is that there will be absolutely no price increase and no need to sign any new contracts. Three is just turbo-charging its existing network with 4G speeds offering more speed for the same money.
Speaking of speed, Three isn’t mentioning any headline speeds as of yet and there’s been no prices mentioned for 4G-compatible dongles. Given that 15GB of data on Three’s mobile broadband plans roughly costs £17-£18/month, we can expect this to be the case when 4G lands.
Three insists that the upgrade from 3G to 4G will be a painless one, requiring a simple software update with no need to swap SIM cards from phones, tablets or mobile broadband dongles.
Today, O2 launched its 4G services, beaming down next gen speeds Bradford, Leeds and London and Vodafone threw on the big 4G switch in the capital.
EE has been selling 4G contracts for the past ten months and has recently connected its 100th town.
By the time Three gets round to launching 4G, EE’s 4G will be available to 70 per cent of the population.
In terms of prices, it looks at though Three will offer the most compelling deal, if customers are prepared to wait. EE’s mobile broadband pay monthly deals currently work out at £25.99/month for 8GB of data. Assuming that Three’s 4G mobile broadband prices remain the same, you’ll be able to get 15GB for £18/month – almost double the data for £8 less a month.