Today Three has announced that it will be rolling 4G services out to all its existing customers without charging a premium for the new high-speed service.
Basically, Three is confirming that 4G will simply become part of all existing packages, so whatever Three plan you’re currently on will also include 4G high-speed data as soon as it’s available.
Three has stated that it will be switching on its LTE network later this year, but has given no clear indication of exactly when the service will be available. But despite that, the announcement will surely make Three an attractive option to anyone nearing the end of their mobile phone contract.
Three UK’s chief executive, Dave Dyson said “As we add the next wave of technology to our Ultrafast network, we’ve listened to our customers and thought long and hard about the right way to do it. We don’t want to limit Ultrafast services to a select few based on a premium price and we’ve decided our customers will get this service as standard.”
And since all existing plans will simply roll over onto the 4G network, Three is essentially confirming that it will be offering unlimited 4G data plans without any kind of price premium – anyone currently on Three’s One plan will enjoy super-fast, unlimited data when 4G rolls out.
Obviously you’ll need to have an LTE compliant handset to take advantage of Three’s free 4G upgrade, but since the number of 4G phones is growing every week, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
It’s safe to say that this announcement is likely to throw the cat among the pigeons as far as other network operators are concerned. EE, currently the only 4G provider in the UK, has already found itself criticised for not providing an unlimited data option. Whether EE will amend its price plans in light of Three’s intentions remains to be seen, but it’s likely that Vodafone and O2 will be mulling over the same issue in the coming weeks, with regard to their forthcoming 4G offerings.
However you look at Three’s announcement though, it’s clearly good news for mobile consumers.