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(Pocket-lint) - Three has announced its 5G service is now live across 154 towns and cities. That beats EE's current tally of 112 and O2's of around 100 but Three's coverage in each location tends to be more limited at present.

Three launched its 5G network in February after several months of delay and has been working with Nokia and Ericsson on its 5G rollout. This latest announcement is the initial rollout of Ericsson cell towers which will also bring 4G improvements, too. Manchester, Glasgow and Reading are the key locations cited by Three for the new Ericsson sites. 

There's no doubt that, while progress hasn't been as fast on 5G rollout in 2020 as expected - for obvious reasons - we're set to see a ramping up of all the 5G networks in the next few months as we reach the tipping point of most new mid-range and flagship handsets being 5G-capable. 

Three claims an average data speed for 5G in excess of 200Mbps and while that's faster than other networks, Three has an advantage in that it owns 100Mhz of contiguous spectrum (it's a single block) - more than any other UK network. However, this advantage will decrease over time with further spectrum allocation.

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Three says its 5G network is now being serviced by 800 cell tower sites. 

Writing by Dan Grabham. Editing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 30 November 2020.