3 UK goes on 5G offensive ahead of launch - Mobile World Live

3 UK goes on 5G offensive ahead of launch

02 JUL 2019

Challenger brand 3 UK accused rivals of cutting corners on 5G in an attempt to bring the product to market faster, as the company prepares to launch its new network later this year.

At a media event in London, 3 CMO Shadi Halliwell outlined the operator’s goal of providing the fastest and highest performing 5G service using what it claims to be the strongest spectrum position and deployment of cloud core technology.

“For us [5G] is the single biggest opportunity we have as a business,” Halliwell (pictured, right) said. “When we launch we will have the most spectrum in the market and not all spectrum is created equal.”

She explained in addition to the spectrum won in the country’s 5G auction, it also has assets bought as part of its purchase of UK broadband in February 2017. Halliwell added this will enable it to exploit 5G “like no other operator can”.

During the presentation, she added the other operators had complained to Ofcom about the strength of 3 UK’s spectrum position.

The operator has spent £2 billion on infrastructure, including spectrum, ahead of 5G launch. In a statement, 3 said its version of 5G would be twice as fast as any rival in the country and it will be the only one to offer a “true” 5G experience.

Launch plans
While BT-owned EE has already launched mobile 5G and Vodafone UK is set to push the button on its service imminently, 3 plans to initially use the technology for fixed wireless in 25 urban areas before launching a mobile service. Its first areas are expected to be connected by the end of 2019.

O2 UK, the country’s other operator, has been tight-lipped on its rollout plans compared to rivals, only confirming it will launch in 2019.

The 3 event came on the same day regulator Ofcom imposed new rules to allow consumers to acquire PAC codes to switch service providers by text, a move the company, the smallest of the four operators in the market, believes will also help it increase its base.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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