Three UK is all set to spark a mobile-pricing war among wireless providers, following its announcement that it won’t be charging its 3G customers for a 4G upgrade. If you’re an existing Three UK 3G customer, you would be automatically upgraded to the ultrafast 4G network. The move would surely undercut competitors like EE, the company that is currently offering expensive 4G services in UK.
“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,” said Three chief executive Dave Dyson.
“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.”
Three’s move to offer free 4G upgrade is very much unlike EE, which is overcharging their customers for 4G speeds. EE is reportedly charging an extra £5 a month from their customers for the 4G upgrade.
Besides, EE is currently offering frivolous data plans like £36 for 500MB of data. That’s unlike Three that is offering amazingly cheap rates. Existing Three customers would be able to enjoy 4G speeds for as little as £7 per month for 500 MB of data, after Three launches its 4G service in the latter half of this year.
Three is adding 4G LTE to its ‘Ultrafast’ network. Right now, it’s using the DC-HSDPA standard, better known as 3.5 G, for data. Three’s 3.5 G network would reach more than 80% of the population by March this year. However, there are no anticipations on how long the reach of 4G network would be.
Other operators who want to join the 4G kerfuffle would have to buy the 1800 MHz spectrum in an auction held by OfCom.
Three’s move to offer 4G speeds at the price of 3G would force mobile operators to revise their rates and come up with competitive data plans.
“Three’s move could really force the other networks to reconsider how they price their own forthcoming 4G deals,” he said.
So, if you have a sumptuous handset, you would be able to access the blazing fast LTE speeds on your smartphone, without paying a penny more. The speeds offered on 4G network is nearly five times the speed offered on 3G network. Currently, devices like iPhone 5, Nokia’s Lumia 920, and Sony Xperia Z are qualified as the ‘ultrafast ready’ smartphones.