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(Pocket-lint) - UK mobile network Three has announced that it will be switching off its remaining 3G services by the end of 2024, in order to concentrate solely on 4G and 5G.

It claims this will free up resources to improve its 4G connectivity and expand the reach of its 5G network.

It's somewhat a significant milestone as Three was the first operator in the UK to launch a 3G service - hence its name. However, it is not thought to be considering a name change.

"3G kickstarted the mobile revolution and launched Three into the UK 20 years ago. But the future is undoubtedly 5G," said the brand's CTO, David Hennessey.

"As we continue to roll out our ultrafast connectivity, by not only upgrading our existing 4G sites but building new 5G sites, we’ll be in a position to switch off our use of 3G across our network by the end of 2024."

Three's 3G and 4G services currently cover 98 per cent of the country. But 5G usage has already overtaken 3G in the UK. The provider states that the number of 5G devices using its network has quadrupled in recent times.

It predicts that 5G will account for 35 per cent of all data usage on the network by the end of this year.

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Writing by Rik Henderson.