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?

ee.co.uk - PAY MONTHLY PHONES The Samsung Galaxy S10+ is now available on EE who have been awarded the UK’s best network for the fifth year running. RootMetrics tested the four UK networks and EE was faster and more reliable than all of them, with better data performance. Their network has come a long way since they launched in 2012. Back then they had 11 UK cities covered by 4G. Today they cover most of the UK’s land mass, thanks to 19,000 state-of-the-art 4G sites. They’ve got faster, too – from 50Mbps to a maximum speed of 400Mbps. And they’re soon to experience even greater possibilities with the launch of 5G.

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