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Three 4G Won’t Be Available in 16 Named Cities Till 2015

4th September 2013

UPDATE : 13TH JANUARY, 2014 The article you came to was written in September, 2013. The latest details can be viewed by following the link below.  

Roll Out of 4G in the UK

The launch of 4G by our 4G mobile operators ( EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three ) is currently not going to impress many people – the one exception to this is EE.

It seems a shade disappointing – no a huge disappointment to me – that the roll out of 4G is going to take such a long time, and in some cases, a great number of towns and cities won’t get 4G until sometime in 2015.

The exception to this is EE. They have already launched 4G in 105 towns and cities and will increase this to 120 by the end of 2013. They also have double speed 4G in 20 cities. Of course, there are 66 cities and over 2000 towns in the UK so even EE have a long way to go. EE say they will make 4G outdoor coverage accessible to 98% of the population by the end of 2014.

Vodafone and O2 both launched 4G on 29th August this year. Vodafone launched in London and will launch 4G in Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield before the end of 2013. O2 launched its 4G in London, Leeds and Bradford with Birmingham, Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry, Sheffield, Manchester and Edinburgh coming on-line by the end of 2013.

This shows EE have a significant lead over Vodafone and O2 for the foreseeable future. This will all balance out by the end of 2015. We can’t be more exact than that as Vodafone and O2 have not provided their roll out plans for 2014 and 2015.

Three 4G Rollout - Where and When in 2013 / 2014

This is not the case for Three 4G. In a move that is either very clever or a bit short-sighted they have actually confirmed exactly where 4G will launch in 2013 and 2014. And it makes for grim reading.

Three have confirmed they will launch 4G during December this year in London, Birmingham and Manchester and then in a further 42 cities in 2014 : Aberdeen, Blackpool, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Dundee, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Gloucester, Huddersfield, Ipswich, Kingston Upon Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Milton Keynes, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Sheffield, Slough, Southampton, Southend On Sea, Stoke On Trent, Stockport, Swindon, Watford and York.

Three 4G Rollout - Where and When in 2015 or Later

By comparing the above information released by Three to the total number of cities ( 66 ) in the UK reveals that 4G will NOT be available in the following cities until 2015 or later : Edinburgh, Bangor, Swansea, Newport, Bath, Canterbury, Chester, Hereford, Lancaster, Lincoln, Salisbury, St Albans, Sunderland, Wakefield, Winchester and Worcester. Three have not listed which and when of the 2000 towns in the UK will get 4G but we would expect a similar position as with the cities above.

The above indicates to us that Three will lag considerably behind EE and some way behind both Vodafone and O2. It is likely that Three won’t catch up the rest of the pack till mid 2015 or later.

On the plus side, and this may be the clever bit, Three has said that it will not charge extra for 4G. More can be seen here : Three 4G at No Extra Cost You may find our article on 4G useful - What is 4G ? An Easy to Follow Guide
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