Three unveils competitive 5G pricing strategy

Coming in with unlimited data and speeds on what will be the fastest network in the country, Three's strategy could shake up 5G competition

Three mobile

Three has unveiled its strategy for its 5G service in the UK today, offering unlimited data and speeds at no extra cost for customers.

The announcement comes after a relatively long period of silence from the carrier known for its favourable data plans on its 4G network, with the only known selling point being the 100MHz contiguous spectrum that will enable Three to be the only "network that can offer customers a 'true' 5G experience", the company claimed.

"Its far stronger spectrum position in 5G gives it a significant competitive advantage over rivals," said independent telco analyst Paolo Pescatore. "With this in mind, its 5G service will be the fastest. The move to unlimited is great for consumers.

"However, the move to unlimited means that revenue per user is capped as well," he added. "Extrapolating further revenue from users will be challenging."

Three's August 5G launch, with no set date as of yet, could be described as a tepid one compared to its competitors as it's only going to be in one city at the beginning - London - with a further 24 towns and cities to go live by year's end.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Three's 5G strategy is an interesting one as all customers will be able to access the same 5G network, regardless of whether they're on contract, SIM-only or pay as you go (PAYG).

It differs from Vodafone's pricing plan whereby data is unlimited across the board, but customers instead pay for the luxury of speed - cheaper plans come with the caveat of speed caps.

Three's SIM-only plans will start 20 for uncapped speeds and data on a 24-month contract and increase to 24 per month on 12-month contracts.

Business-specific plans remain a mystery but speeds are likely to be a huge selling point for the network given that EE and Vodafone, the only two carriers to operate active 5G networks, are operating on sub-6GHz spectrums as of right now.

"Three is leading the way with 5G, by providing our customers with unlimited data and the fastest speeds," said Dave Dyson, CEO at Three. "Our customers will be able to enjoy and explore a full 5G experience, at the same cost as 4G.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"The forthcoming months are going to be game-changing and with our unrestricted plans, we are looking forward to unleashing the full potential of 5G to all," he added.

Three is the UK network known for its well-priced and data-generous 4G plans, the carrier claims its customers use 3.5x more data than customer son any other network and it predicts 5G will increase the mobile data consumption thirteen-fold.

Customers will be able to buy three 5G devices from Three to make use of its 5G network: the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G which was released today while the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G will become available later this month.

Three will be the third of the four UK carriers to launch a 5G service with EE spearheading the rollout in May and Vodaonfe following on 3 July.

O2 announced the launch of its 5G network with an unspecified October date on Thursday, which will make it the last to switch on its network. So far, the carrier is yet to reveal its pricing strategy, but as more network operators enter the fray, we can expect pricing and service benefits to get much more competitive.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Following O2's announcement, Sky Mobile announced it will launch its own 5G network a month late rin November 2019. Sky acts a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and will use O2's infrastructure to deliver its 5G service to customers.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"The mobile network operators need to watch out as this move poses a considerable threat," said Pescatore. "5G represents a significant opportunity for Sky to steal market share."

"It is becoming harder for telcos to differentiate on connectivity beyond price alone," he added. "Sky armed with its innovative mobile features and breadth of content is very well placed to compete head-on. For now, from an overall services perspective, it seems to be in pole position."

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now

Most Popular

Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020

Dell XPS 13 (New 9300) hands-on review: Chasing perfection

14 Jan 2020