Three won't launch 4G until after everyone else. The UK's smallest network is "fairly relaxed" about 4G LTE, and won't launch until later in the year -- behind the other major networks.
Three is in a unique position with regards to 4G. Not only has it bought portions of the spectrum in the auction, but it's also buying some of the frequency EE is already using for 4G.
The first British 4G network launched late last year. EE, the network formed by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile, offers 4G in 37 towns and cities across Britain, although it has drawn flak for its low data allowances. Still, it's the only game in town until summer, when the other networks launch 4G LTE services on the spectrum they've just bought in a.
"We have the opportunity to move quite quickly with the 800MHz spectrum that we acquired in the auction," Three boss Dave Dyson told Mobile News. "However, realistically, I think it’s going to be towards the end of the year before you see us launch LTE as a technology.
"I'm fairly relaxed about it," he added, making him our new hero of the week.
In fact, Three is even going to wait until after Vodafone and O2 launch their 4G LTE services to see how things shake out.
But Three points out that "the latest version of 3G and the early versions of LTE are not dramatically different," suggesting that customers don't care what's driving things behind the scenes as long as everything just works fast.
Three is the first network to confirm it won't charge extra for 4G, with none of the special 4G price plans that have drawn criticism for EE. As long as you have an LTE-compatible phone, like the, you'll simply get the fastest speeds available wherever you happen to be.
Is Three right to be relaxed, or will the UK's smallest network miss a trick? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.