Three UK launched its 5G network in the UK in August 2019, with its superspeed wireless home broadband service now available.
Here then is everything you need to know about Three's 5G network, including the forthcoming mobile launch, the phones, rollout locations, prices and much more.
What is 5G?
5G is the name given to the next-generation mobile service that promises faster speeds, lower latency and more stable signals than ever before.
It runs concurrently with 4G and 3G services, so those shouldn't be affected if you don't want to switch right now.
5G requires new hardware, either specific, supported smartphones or mobile broadband routers that can access the bandwidths it uses. The possibilities are great, however, with 5G services set to improve mobile and even home gaming, offer incredible upload and download speeds, plus provide seamless, always-on internet connections for smart home appliances and, even, cars.
When will Three 5G be available?
Three launched the first phase of its 5G network in mid-August, focusing on wire-free home broadband initially. It is available in the London area now and offers an alternative to high-speed internet through fibre optic cabling.
Other locations that offer 5G connectivity include its flagship store in London's West End and the Central St Martins design college.
Its full mobile service was planned to start rolling out to 25 towns and cities before the end of 2019, but was "slightly delayed" due to complexities with the construction of its cloud core network technology.
There is no firm revised date for rollout, but is believed to be earlier in 2020 rather than later.
Where will Three 5G be available?
The locations to be switched on when the rollout finally starts are:
- Milton Keynes
The current London areas where Three's 5G home broadband service is available are Camden, Camberwell, Hackney, Islington, Southwark and Tower Hamlets.
What phones and devices are available on Three 5G?
Three offers a selection of 5G Android handsets in preparation to its service going live. They are now already available to purchase ahead of time and work on 4G too.
Huawei Mate 20 X 5G
Some of its rivals are yet to decide whether to include the Huawei phone in their line-ups, but political uncertainty hasn't stopped Three. It is already offering the 5G version of the phone, with its full potential unlocked after the launch of the provider's 5G service.
It comes with a mammoth 7.2-inch display and the Balong 5G modem.
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G is now being stocked by Three.
It is one of the best value 5G phones around and sports a 6.39-inch 2340 x 1080 FHD+ Samsung AMOLED display. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor ensures it runs like the clappers.
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G comes with a 6.7-inch display, 4500mAh battery and a quad camera system.
It's also available across the other major providers.
Samsung Galaxy A90 5G
One of the latest to the party, the Samsung Galaxy A90 5G is a next-generation device that won't break the bank.
It offers a glorious screen and a fabulous, solid design.
Huawei 5G CPE Pro Router
Three is using the Huawei 5G CPE Pro Router for its current 5G home broadband service. If you sign up to a plan - from £22 per month - this is the device you will get.
HTC 5G Hub
Three has also confirmed to Pocket-lint in the past that it will be offering the HTC 5G Hub in future - an Android-powered router with a screen and media playback capabilities.
How fast will Three 5G be?
We are yet to see the Three network in action fully, so cannot give you any real world speeds at present. We will bring you more when we've tested the network ourselves when it expands to a wider set of regions.
However, Three itself claims that its network has the potential to be the fastest of all the big providers, including EE, Vodafone and O2.
That's because it holds spectrum in the 140MHz block, including access to a 100MHz contiguous black that is potentially capable of delivering faster 5G speeds. Other operators hold 40MHz and 50MHz blocks.
How much will Three 5G cost and what are the best deals?
The best news about Three's 5G mobile offering is that it will come at no extra cost to customers.
You'll still need a 5G phone to access the superfast network, but won't need to upgrade your existing tariff.
SIM-only unlimited 5G plans will also start at £20 per month.
Prices for Three's 5G home broadband service start at £22 per month.