Three UK rolling out 4G this summer, but it's not LTE

Three, the mobile operator, has confirmed that is "in the process of finalising plans" to roll out a 4G network in the UK.

However in a move that is likely only to confuse customers even more, the new 4G technology isn't actually 4G at all but a variation of the current 3G technology, only faster.

"Let’s be absolutely clear – this isn’t 4G as in Long Term Evolution, or LTE as it’s also known. Instead it’s the leading-edge version of 3G technology – HSPA+ but running on the 42Mbps technical standard, and offering customers twice the speed potential as the 21Mbps technical standard," Three said in a statement.

To put in English, it is the same 4G specification T-Mobile use in the US, and one that is heavily criticised for not being LTE like that offered by AT&T and others.

4G or not 4G, Three says that the new speed improvements to its network will let customers access the internet and other services that need data quicker than ever before.

The nationwide rollout is expected to commence later this summer. Three has said that it is working on an LTE network as well:

"As well as continuing the 42Mbps roll out, we’ll also be running our own Long Term Evolution (LTE) trial in the next few months to get ourselves prepared for this technology, when the spectrum needed to run it is made available."

That's likely to be more than a year away at the earliest the operator has warned. 

What is 4G?



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