UK’s Three to Launch 5G Services in August, Starting With Home Broadband

UK mobile operator Three has said that it will launch its 5G network in August. Three, which is owned by Hutchison, said it would start its 5G network with a London home broadband service, joining BT’s EE and Vodafone in launching services in 2019.

The operator would roll out mobile and broadband across 25 towns and cities before the end of the year.

Three said its GBP 2 billion ($2.55 billion or roughly Rs. 17,656 crores) 5G infrastructure investment included network improvements in major British cities and a cloud core network provided by Nokia.

“It’s clear that consumers and businesses want more and more data,” chief executive Dave Dyson said in a statement on Monday.

“We have worked hard over a long period of time to be able to offer the best end-to-end 5G experience. 5G is a game changer for Three.”

EE launched 5G services in six cities in May, while Vodafone will launch ‪on July 3.‬ Both pulled Huawei smartphones from their 5G launches because of uncertainty about support by Google’s Android after a US move to block the Chinese firm’s access to its technology.

Three said that they would announce details of which handsets would be part of its mobile launch in July.

The United States has said Huawei is a security risk and open to spying by Beijing, a claim the Chinese company denies.

Britain’s National Security Council decided in April to block Huawei from all core parts of its future 5G network but to give it restricted access to non-core parts, but the government has not made a final decision.

A Three executive confirmed that Huawei has been chosen as the provider for Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment for its 5G network. Dr. Erol Hepsaydir, Head of RAN and Devices Technology, 3UK, made the announcement at the sidelines of 5G World conference as part of London Tech Week on Tuesday.

Three predicts mobile data usage in the UK will hit 90GB per month on average by 2025.

The worldwide commercial launch of 5G is expected in 2020, and Three says by next year it will be able to offer peak 5G speeds of 2.15Gbps using 140MHz spectrum, dwarfing those by the competition using 50MHz and 40MHz spectrum.

Written with inputs from Reuters

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