Three happy to play 4G waiting game

UK network increases customer base by 900k in 12 months.

Three

UK operator Three claims it is not in a rush to implement 4G infrastructure in the UK, despite securing part of the 800 MHz spectrum.

Dave Dyson, chief executive of Three told Reuters its 4G services are unlikely to be implemented until late 2013 at the earliest.  

"[Realistically], I think it's going to be towards the end of the year before you see us launch (4G) LTE as a technology," he said.

The lack of urgency is due to customers being more concerned with their data allowance than speed, Dyson claimed.

"Right now the latest version of 3G and the early versions of LTE are not dramatically different and I am very confident that our customers are getting the right experience," he continued.

Three is known for its generous data allowances and the firm has already gone on the record as stating it will offer 4G as standard on all smartphone price plans.

This could spark an all-out price war as EE, which is currently the only UK provider to offer 4G charges consumers extra they want to benefit from the high-speed service. O2 and Vodafone are also expected to offer 4G at a premium.

It remains to be seen whether Three's conservative strategy works out in the long-term. What is clear is that firm's push on aggressive price points is working. Three announced that its customer base has increased by 900,000 people year-on-year. This has led a nine per cent jump in revenue to 1.95bn.

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