CK Hutchison-owned 3 UK highlighted a jump in 5G device ownership and use of the network technology by its customers in 2021, with data consumed using the latest protocol double that on 3G by the end of the year.

In its Mobile Britain 2022 report, which provides a range of consumer usage statistics, the operator noted the number of 5G devices accessing its network quadrupled during 2021 to 2.2 million.

Customer 5G data usage increased 385 per cent over 2020.

By the end of 2022 the company expects 5G to comprise 35 per cent of data processed on its network. It did not indicate what the current breakdown is.

The company launched its 5G network in 2019 around the same time as its three local rivals, and now provides fixed wireless access and mobile services using it.

3 UK chief network officer Carlo Melis noted the technology had “taken off like never before” highlighting a previously-announced £2 billion investment in expanding its network and infrastructure to keep up with demand.

He added its network currently covered 370 areas and more than a third of the population.