For technology that’s still a little way from reaching our smartphones, 5G is certainly drawing a lot of hype – and that means funding. Network operator Three looks like it’s particularly keen to be fast out of the blocks, and it has now emerged that the company’s spent £125 million on network upgrades and new IT to support a potential rollout.
As the company already coughed up a not insubstantial £151.3 million on 20MHz of the 5G-ready spectrum earlier this year, Three’s 5G spend comes to £276.3 million so far for 2018.
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“Over the course of 2018, we will accelerate the rollout of our 5G network and the opportunity this brings to both our existing and prospective base of customers and partners,” said Dave Dyson, the chief executive of Three UK, in a statement.
“All the key components that are needed for a successful 5G service have been procured over the last few years and I am excited by the prospect of trialling 5G soon, working together with our new IT and Core network infrastructure.”
Dyson made the statement on the back of the company’s Q2 financial reports, where he announced total revenues of £1.19 billion – up 2% year-on-year. Earnings also crept up 7% to hit £364 million.
This improvement appears to have been driven by a growing customer base. In the first six months of 2018, the company grew its subscriber numbers by 6% to hit 10.1 million, and the churn of contract handsets (customer disloyalty, in less jargon-y terms) has been reduced to just 1%.
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Three – widely seen as a network for power users, thanks to the large amount of data it puts in its contracts – certainly seems to attract the data hungry. The average Three customer goes through a massive 7.6GB data each month – that’s 5.7GB more than the UK average, according to Ofcom data.
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