Three to offer 4G LTE at no additional cost to customers

Three has clarified its plans for 4G, by saying that it will incorporate LTE as a standard feature for its customers.

That means that if you have a compatible device, you'll get access to the 4G network from Three on your existing SIM and on your existing contract, rather than paying a premium for the fast data service.

"As we add the next wave of technology to our Ultrafast network, we’ve listened to our customers and thought long and hard about the right way to do it," said Dave Dyson, chief executive of Three.

"We don’t want to limit Ultrafast services to a select few based on a premium price and we’ve decided our customers will get this service as standard."

We expect the news to be well received by those customers already on the Three network, as this means access without having to pay a hefty premium for your data.

You'll need to have a compatible device, however. Three highlights the iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia 920, iPad mini and iPad with Retina display as current compatible hardware.

Also joining this list is the forthcoming Sony Xperia Z, available from 28 February, the new BlackBerry Z10 coming mid-February, and the Samsung Galaxy S III LTE and Galaxy Note 2 LTE also landing on Three shortly.

READ: BlackBerry Z10 pictures and hands-on

Somewhat confusingly, Three is talking about 4G LTE under the same "Ultrafast" term it applies to its existing DC-HSDPA network. Three will be offering 4G LTE on the 1800MHz spectrum (acquired from EE) in the second half of 2013.

Currently 4G LTE in the UK is offered only by EE, but the 4G spectrum auction is under way, so there will be more advances in 4G in the future.