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Three launching 4G network in December for no extra cost

Three is launching its 4G network in December. It'll be available to all existing customers and won't charge any extra for it.

Three

The Three network has announced that it will be launching its own 4G network in the UK starting in December. True to its promise earlier this year, it won't be charging any extra for the service.

Three's 4G will be available to all its existing customers on current plans who already own 4G devices such as the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One. An over the air software update will be sent to your phone to allow it to connect to the speedy service and you won't need to re-sign a contract.

Three's base SIM-only tariff starts at £6.90 per month, which gets you 500MB of data, 200 minutes and 5,000 texts. By comparison, EE's lowest SIM-only plan also snags you 500MB, but charges £21 per month, although you do also get unlimited minutes and texts. While EE doesn't offer an unlimited data option -- it's highest is 20GB for £61 per month -- Three offers an all you can eat data plan from only £12.90 per month.

Three's 4G service will initially launch in London, Birmingham and Manchester in December, with an 'acceleration' in January to bring the service to 50 cities by the end of 2014 and 98 per cent UK coverage by 2015. EE yesterday celebrated its 100 town milestone -- a number it hit in around 10 months after its initial launch.

Both O2 and Vodafone's 4G services launch in the UK today, so 4G competition is really starting to heat up. Unlike Three, O2 and Vodafone charge more for their 4G services than for their standard 3G ones. O2's prices start at £26 per month for 1GB of data, whereas Vodafone want £26, but offer 2GB of data and six months free Spotify premium or Sky Sports subscriptions. Whether any of the other networks revise their offers in response to Three's bargain-basement prices remains to be seen.

Are you a Three customer? Excited by 4G speeds? Are you tempted to switch to Three to get 4G on the cheap? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.