Customers of the Three mobile phone network are to get 4G connectivity at no extra cost and with no penalty for switching from their existing 3G contract. This is in stark contrast with other mobile networks, which expected customers to start new 4G contracts when switching to their LTE networks.
The Three website explains that current customers will be able to get faster 4G connectivity and unlimited data usage for the same price as their existing contract. The mobile network will simply issue a software update so customers can switch to 4G when Three’s service is ready to go live.
Three says many customers will get 4G by Christmas, with some customers getting a carrier upgrade notification today and the first upgrades to 4G due to be in place on Monday. The mobile carrier is also extending its existing London, Birmingham, Manchester and Reading 4G trial to other UK cities this side of Christmas. These additional 29 locations will get 4G in the new year.
Three describes its over the air upgrade approach as ‘fuss-free’, though you can only take advantage of the network upgrade if you already have a 4G Ready handset. So while it sounds generous, the deal really rewards customers who stuck with Three a year after other networks started offering 4G and who have one of its more expensive handsets.
Handsets that are 4G Ready include the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, the Samsung Galaxy S4, the BlackBerry Z10 and the Sony Xperia Z1.