Three takes aim at EE with 4G prices

Three has taken aim at EE and other rival operators due to launch 4G services this year by launching a free to upgrade “Ultrafast” 4G tariff.

Three 4G

The company promoting the offer on a new section of its site, which says “unlike some other UK operators” it will make its 4G services available across all existing and new price plans without customers needing to pay a premium to upgrade.

EE, which was the first to launch a superfast LTE service in the UK, currently charges anything from £31 a month for its 500 MB plan up to £61 a month for the 20GB plan. Its SIM-only deals are slightly cheaper.

Soon after its launch in October, research conducted by Marketing Week found the majority of consumers believed EE’s tariffs were too expensive.

O2 and Vodafone, which are also due to launch 4G services from spring this year following the completion of Ofcom’s 4G auction, have not yet revealed their pricing.
Three says any customer with an “Ultrafast ready device” – such as the iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia 920 and Samsung Galaxy S III – will receive LTE available as standard when its roll out begins in the second half of this year.

Dave Dyson, Three chief executive, says: “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.”

Three says its Ultrafast network, which is currently supported by DC-HSDPA technology as opposed to 4G, already covers 55 per cent of the UK population and offers theoretical speeds of up to 40 MBs per second. It is aiming to reach 80 per cent population coverage by the end of March and will incorporate the extra 4G capacity and speed later in the year.

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