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(Pocket-lint) - UK mobile network Three has launched a new, faster data service in several cities around the country that will fill a stop gap before 5G arrives.

Called 4G+, it uses carrier aggregation technology to utilise Three's different spectrum bands to provide a more stable, speedier service. When in a 4G+ area, users will notice improved speeds of between 15 and 33 per cent over conventional 4G.

They will also see a 4G+ symbol on their device that signifies that the service is live in that location.

Customers will need a device that supports carrier aggregation, as it has to support the specific, different spectrum bands in use, but around 50 per cent of the phones Three ranges should be compatible.

Even if you don't have a supporting handset, you should still benefit from the 4G+ launch as it helps free capacity across the entire network.

It also serves as a significant "building block" for the company's 5G plans.

More than 2,700 sites have been upgraded to provide Three's 4G+ connectivity, across cities including London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

"As we ready our network for 5G, we’re moving quickly to put the right technology in place to deliver the most reliable mobile experience for our customers. This latest innovation plays a critical role in ensuring our customers will be able to make the most of their mobile devices, both now and in the future," said Dave Dyson, Three's chief executive.

Writing by Rik Henderson.