Three UK is deploying 1400MHz or ‘L-Band’ spectrum at its busiest sites to improve 4G performance as data usage soars.
6,000 sites carrying 80% of Three’s traffic will be upgraded with new antennas and 1400MHz L-Band spectrum. Three says customers with compatible handsets will see speed improvements of up to 150%, or 50% for those without. Further, at 12,500 sites, Three will switch some of its 3G spectrum over to 4G, saying this will deliver improvements of up to 40%.
Three says 3,960 sites have already benefited from a 15% improvement in performance thanks to the deployment of carrier aggregation technology.
The 4G upgrade, which is part of a £2 billion infrastructure investment programme, will run until 2023 alongside Three’s 5G rollout, which began in Central London in August.
Three claims to be the first UK operator to break the 10GB monthly data usage barrier per customer. In July 2019, average usage across the Three UK network was 10.4GB per month, compared to the UK average of 2.9GB.
David Dyson, chief executive officer at Three UK said, “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.”