Three eyes network perception boost with increased marketing investment

Three is increasing marketing investment aimed at boosting the perception of its network to overcome legacy issues about its performance as the mobile operator prepares to switch on its 4G spectrum.

Three 4G

The company is currently on the hunt for a head of customer strategy who will sit within the marketing team and will be responsible for the operator’s network perception.

The incumbent will lead the marketing execution of all network perception initiatives and will also provide marketing leadership about whether Three needs to invest in coverage and capacity on the network to provide the best customer experience.

A job ad for the role says as Three embarks on its strategy to become a “marketing-led organisation” – a journey that started about a year ago – the marketing strategy holds network perception as a “significant influence” on customer experience and “key” to attracting and retaining customers.

The perception of Three’s network is likely to have been affected from customers who trialled its services shortly after it first launched in the UK in 2003 and found coverage to be patchy considering its size relative to larger rivals such as Vodafone, Orange and O2.

Since then it has made major investments in its network, particularly this year when it will effectively doubled its network capacity following Ofcom’s 4G spectrum auction. It aims to switch on 4G for customers in December and for its 4G services to cover 98 per cent of the population by 2015.

Current customer perception of the brand in YouGov BrandIndex’s measures that touch network capacity are still currently behind the majority of its competitors, however.

It is currently ranked in sixth place in terms of “purchase intent”, behind Vodafone, EE and O2 (and also BT and Virgin Media, outside of the mobile operator sector). For “quality”, Three is ranked in 16th place behind all its major competitors.

In Ofcom’s latest telecoms and pay TV complaints report Three generated complaints in excess of the industry average at 0.09 complaints per 1,000 customers – although this also measures customer dissatisfaction for areas beyond network coverage and was ahead of the worst offenders T-Mobile and Orange.

Vodafone’s early marketing activity ahead of the launch of its 4G spectrum played heavily on spectrum coverage and its commitment to reach 98 per cent of the possible indoor coverage in the UK. 

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here