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Will 4G from three upset the apple cart?
Thursday 29 August 2013 10:17:28 by Andrew Ferguson

It appears that there may be one unmetered 4G option in the UK and that is via three who plan to launch their 4G service in December 2013 by allowing customers with 4G capable handsets to keep the same tariff and gain the option to use 4G where it is available.

This means that people on The One Plan which can costs £37/month with a Samsung Galaxy S4 will give you an all you can eat data allowance. Research suggests there is no fair use policy, or put it another way we could find no trace of one applying to the product, and other parts of the three site say no fair use policy. Of course if the firm finds that too many TeraByte per month (1000 GB) customers join their service this policy might change.

The question now is whether this unmetered stance from three will be enough to force the hand of the other operators, past experience in the 3G market suggests probably not.

Update 3:30pm The details of the announcement by three are over on their own blog.


Posted by Kushan over 4 years ago
Three are making the right choice by allowing all you can eat data, but they're certainly in no rush to roll it out. Just 3 cities by the end of the year? 50 more in 2014? Hardly a big roll out but then again it's cheap so what can we expect.
I'll be sticking with Three for the next couple of years I suspect so if they haven't rolled out to my city by then, hopefully the competition will have dropped their ludicrous prices.
Posted by MarkOfThePeak over 4 years ago
I live in a broadband not-spot in Derbyshire where my BT connection is an unstable 1.1 meg, only two months ago I left O2 for Three's 'One Plan'. Using my Galaxy S2 as a wireless hotspot I get between 2 and 10 meg download speeds. Seriously considering abandoning BT and getting a 'House Mobile' that would act as our home-phone and broadband.
Posted by PhilCoates over 4 years ago

Yeah - on top of the Roaches near Leek a couple of weeks ago I got 5.6 down and 2.3 up from a loveley mast about 5 miles away but in plain view. Pity I can't live next to the trig point.
Posted by jsp21c over 4 years ago
Like you say 4G roll out is going to be slow, but Three's DC-HSPA is giving me around 15-16 Mb down and 2-4 Mb up. I have an S4 sitting on my home office desk just providing a hot spot, something to consider is that in the future once the contract has ended and the phone is paid off, I could get a SIM only One Plan with AYCE data for £15 a month which is less than the BT line rental alone.
Posted by chefbyte over 4 years ago
I'm on Three all you can eat package, no worries there, use it as a hotspot for work and pleasure, get around the 8-12 meg DL and 2-2.8 upload. not to worried about 4G as the above speeds meet my needs. on average i use about 2 gigs a month, most i ever used was 4 and that was when on holiday uploading daily photos for 2 weeks.
Posted by AndrueC over 4 years ago
I was staying in a cottage in Dumfries and Galloway earlier this year. The cottage had 500kb/s except it was faulty so we got nothing. Take a walk up the nearest hill and we got 5.5Mb/s. Bit of a long trek just to get email :)
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
Just to let you know Andrew 3 do mention 1000GB a month as a limit but they also say traffic sense is still about.
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
"So in essence there is a limit of how much data you can actually consume which is up to 1000GB."

From that page
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
Also wanted to say that I wonder what the Mobile Broadband tariffs will be - Historically £15 for 3G is the same as EE now offer for 4G - so unlikely to change from current model.

@chefbyte. Don't fret! I've used 200GB in a month and had no problems.
Posted by otester over 4 years ago
I suspect Three will end up dominating again.


What actually happens if you reach the 1000GB FUP is unknown, some support staff have said it simply goes back to 0.
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
I hope so! they are to me the best. I've been with them since the start. The 3 months free video calls they did xmas 2003 was brill - we were all rocking NEC 606's then! (well me and the wife was anyway)

Never been able to hit it! I know that one magazine stress tested it 750GB in a month and that was it - they must have had very good speed no?
Posted by ukhardy071 over 4 years ago
I have a 3 mast 100metres from my house. It still struggles to get service in my living room. There's one 3 transmitter... Every other provider, also on the same mast gets full service. Then again every other provider has 4 transmitters, pointing in all directions & also has atleast 10dBw more transmit power. 3 is also the lowest one on the mast.

Most 3 masts have a much lower transmit power than other operators. I love 3 but God damn I hate their signal. I used to leave my house to make a call.
Posted by jroadley over 4 years ago
The link to the blog is so well worded. Anyone on a different network must be seething. And this comes from someone who lives in deepest darkest Norfolk and will never experience 4G and just get enough of a 3G signal!
Posted by orly2 over 4 years ago
Here in Canada 4G/LTE is already pretty common. Most of the big providers already cover most big cities and towns and a majority of the population. They also charge the same regardless. If you can get it lucky you.

In my experience it's not something I'd pay more for. I actually used it for a while and then went back to 3G. LTE halved my devices battery life. Plus 3G here gets about 10Mbit...not exactly slow.
Posted by timmay over 4 years ago
I'm waiting it out. Oh and no network provides 4G coverage where I am yet anyway...
Posted by otester over 4 years ago

During peak times it drops to about 2.5Mbps unfortunately, otherwise 10Mbps is the average for me.

I've noticed since early summer they've started protocol shaping a lot more aggressively.
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago

I wouldn't either for a phone. Which is why I am glad 3 are giving it away free - makes it worth the wait based on track record.

@otester - I had noticed that too along with a slowdown. I guess it's getting packed.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 4 years ago
Just speedtested at 14699k down, 2034k up on 3 in my home, I'm in no hurry for 4G. There's nothing I do on my phone that I need more speed for
Posted by UKCodeMonkey over 4 years ago
In the long term maybe, but since I get little/no Three signal at home or at work - unlimited 3G/4G is of small concern to me until their signal improves.
Posted by otester over 4 years ago

When they turn on the lower spectrum from Orange you should see an improvement, that's if you don't live in the sticks (which no one cares about).
Posted by bigluap over 4 years ago
Wont make any difference in Warwick, CV34. Got told in April 2013, that 4G wont come to this area for at least 2 years. It will be rolled out to high population areas first. Pity as we dont have working 3G anyway, hence the cancelled contract. Three will have to build new masts for 4G as the upgrade turns off 3g if they just upgrade. Their system works on a 2 channel system which gives them 64 channels (info from a Birdstep Logfile - No of available channels - at 02.34 am) for 3G it is the same for 4G, so no improvement, hence no rush to roll out
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