Three edges closer to 10 million customer target by 2015 and announces its Ultrafast network, achieving 80 per cent population coverage by April 2013 with speeds double what can be currently achieved
Three added more than 1.04 million customers over the past year, adding 301,000 customers in Q3. It takes the operator’s base to 8.8 million subscribers, putting it on track to achieve its target of 10 million customers by 2015.
Three said its growth in customers, driven by its smartphone focus, is being supported by a nationwide programme to upgrade its network.
As the operator moves towards its ‘Ultrafast’ network, it is deploying DC-HSDPA technology and increasing the speed of its backhaul, the data pipes used to connect its sites to the internet.
The new network will provide customers with speeds doubled at what they are currently receiving. It said customers in existing Ultrafast areas are reporting peak speeds over 20Mbps.
It will reach over half of the UK population by the end of this year, with more than 80 per cent of the population covered by April 2013. Over two thirds of the population (39 per cent) already have access to the network, with coverage focused on 50 of the UK’s biggest cities and towns. These include London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburg, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Nottingham and Sheffield.
Three will add further capacity to its Ultrafast network in 2013 by deploying 4G, which it expects to go live in September. This follows Ofcom’s approval of Three’s acquisition of 2x15Mhz of radio spectrum at 1800Mhz. It said the transfer effectively doubles its overall spectrum capacity and provides further room for customer growth.
Three UK chief executive Dave Dyson (pictured) said: “We have led the adoption of smartphones in the UK by giving our customers great coverage, fast speeds and compelling price plans. These network improvements are designed to maintain our position as the fastest growing UK mobile operator.
“Our Ultrafast network is giving more people in more places access to an even faster mobile internet experience.
“But mobile internet is about more than just technology. All-you-can-eat data at prices to suit everyone and peace of mind bundles that guarantee no surprise data bills are designed to allow customers to get the most enjoyment from their smartphones.”
Three is also launched an 800-strong recruitment drive last month that added nearly 400 sales and service roles in its Glasgow office and 400 across its high street retail stores and Maidenhead office.