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Three 5G will not launch in 2019, network explains next-gen delay

UK mobile network Three has announced it is delaying the roll out of its next-gen 5G network until the beginning of next year.

In news that will disappoint subscribers who’ve already snapped up 5G-ready phones in anticipation of a late 2019 launch, the network has admitted it is running behind schedule.

In a statement, Three explained that there are still a number of remaining components necessary to ensure users have the best 5G experience possible.

“Our 5G roll out is slightly behind our original plan,” the network said in a press release on Friday.

“There are a number of parts we need to put in place to deliver our 5G experience: 5G equipment on masts, the right backhaul transmission, as well as the need to acquire the right planning permissions from landlords. Added to this we also need to move all of our customer traffic onto the world’s first 5G cloud core network. Some of these components are more time consuming and complex than others,” the company continued.

Related: 5G in the UK

The network had planned to begin offering 5G mobile services during the last three months of 2019, but it has become obvious in recent weeks the company wasn’t really gearing up for the launch.

The firm is  currently offering 5G home broadband services, but has lagged behind EE, Vodafone and O2, who are all progressing with the 5G mobile launches, albeit slowly. Three, which will roll out services on the eagerly-anticipated 100MHz spectrum, has not set a new launch date beyond the first three months of 2020.

The firm added: “Our absolute priority has always been to deliver the best 5G experience for our customers, and we’re confident our customers will enjoy a fast, seamless and uninterrupted experience as we roll out and align our 5G components.”

Hopefully the network will live up to those words when it eventually pushes the 5G speeds live next year. Given the amount of work that needs to be done, completing it within four months still seems quite optimistic.

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