Three moves forward with 5G network prep

This is the second stage of SSE's fibre implementation partnership with Three UK

Three has chosen to work with SSE Enterprise Telecoms to help it roll out its 5G network, the company has announced, using the firm to hook into BT's existing telephony infrastructure.

SSE will use its expertise to connect Three's mobile network with BT's telephone exchanges, allowing for fibre optic connections between masts and datacentres. Three said this vastly improve Three's 4G network for existing customers, too.

"By significantly increasing our access to fibre, we are putting our network on the best footing possible to take advantage of the benefits of 5G technology," said Bryn Jones, Three UK's CTO.

"Our customers use 3.5 times more data per month than the average UK consumer and this deal will help us maintain our leadership in providing a fantastic data service.  Fibre is essential to the UK's digital future and more needs to be done to improve its availability to ensure that the UK benefits from 5G at the earliest opportunity."

The "multi-million pound" deal is the latest tie-up between Three and SSE Enterprise Telecoms, which was announced in April. The first stage of the collaboration involved SSE implementing a fibre resilience ring to connect Three's datacentres to serve as a back up should the company's main supplier suffer an outage.

"High capacity fibre connectivity is absolutely critical," Colin Sempill, Managing Director at SSE Enterprise Telecoms added. "We're fully invested in supporting the UK's digital ambitions, demonstrated in our recent investments in expanding our network, and it's exciting for us to be playing such an important role in Three UK's journey towards a 5G future for consumers and businesses."    

Three was the first mobile network to launch its 3G service in March 2003 and although it wasn't a particularly early adopter of 4G, it wants to make sure it's one of the leaders in 5G technologies when spectrum becomes available.

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