Three completes 3G network upgrade


Operator takes its site count to 12,400 as part of a £400 million investment in network upgrade programme

Three UK has marked the completion of its three-year long network upgrade by connecting its 12,400th 3G site, a period that has seen it invest around £400 million in its development.

The upgrade and improvement programme has seen its 3G network grow from 7,500 to 12,400 sites, with the operator now claiming UK 3G population coverage of 97 per cent.

Three said that while its network reach and capacity has grown, the expansion has been achieved through consolidating and upgrading equipment, and sharing sites with other providers, which it said has actually led to 5,069 fewer active masts across the country.

Three said around 8.5 million man hours of work had been put in by more than 3,300 engineers involved in the project, with 10,000 transmission cable and microwave upgrades in the past 12-months.

Three UK chief executive Kevin Russell said: “Thousands of people across the country have put in a phenomenal amount of work to build the UK’s biggest mobile broadband network. Smartphone and mobile broadband use is exploding and we have built a 3G network that reaches further than ever before, as well as bringing more capacity into urban areas where our customers need it most.”