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3's 4G won't cost more

mobile signal

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 4 Feb 2013 at 09:50

The 3 network won't charge more for 4G when it rolls out its service later this year - distinguishing itself from rival EE.

So far, EE - the tie-up between T-Mobile and Orange - is the only network to offer 4G, but its contracts have tight data caps and prices that include the most expensive plan in the UK.

"LTE, otherwise known as 4G, will be added to 3’s Ultrafast network later this year," the company said. "Unlike some other UK mobile operators, it will be available across all existing and new price plans without customers needing to pay a premium fee to upgrade."

Any customer on the network will be upgraded to 4G when it's rolled out later this year, "without paying a premium or needing to swap SIM cards or price plans".

The dig at EE is intriguing as 3's 4G services will be rolled out over the 1,800MHz spectrum that it's buying from its larger rival, offered by EE in a bid to avoid regulator scrutiny.

That will allow 3 to roll out 4G without waiting for the results of the ongoing spectrum auction, although 3 is also seeking permission from Ofcom to use its existing 2,100MHz spectrum to roll out 4G services.

The telecoms regulator is currently looking into whether it should allow EE's rivals to use existing spectrum to roll out 4G services without waiting for the auction results, with a decision expected this spring.

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User comments


As soon as competitors arrive in the 4G market I would expect to see EE reducing prices. It's a good case study for zero competition in a market and how it leads to over-inflated prices. This is why we have to hope the likes of AMD recover their chip business otherwise Intel could charge much higher prices without competition.

By skarlock on 4 Feb 2013

What phones will work?

Is there any list of which phones will be able to use 4G when Three turns it on? I'e got a Galaxy S3 on contract with Three. So will it just "happen".

By DJ2003 on 4 Feb 2013


Reminds me of when the mobile phone networks were first starting, the UK government insisted on there being competition (with BT) and the US took IIRC a decade to sought out competition to ensure AT&T didn't have the monopoly.

That said, I wonder what their reception will be like and the speed of the rollout?

By tech3475 on 4 Feb 2013

You get what you pay for

Whilst I like the idea of an affordable 4G network, I'm very much of the belief that if you don't pay for anything, you don't value it.

It'd be nice to be proved wrong, but given my experience with Three in the past, I doubt it

By Chatan on 4 Feb 2013

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