Three rolling out 5G to smartphones end of February after initial delay

Three will finally begin rolling out its 5G service to mobiles at the end of the month after delaying the launch last year.

The firm is the last of the big four UK networks to introduce the next generation wireless technology to smartphones, which was originally due to arrive by the end of 2019.

In November, Three said a number of issues, from acquiring the right planning permissions from landlords to arranging 5G equipment on masts, had forced it to push its original target “slightly behind”.

Model Adwoa Aboah
Model Adwoa Aboah

The telecommunications company has now revealed that its 5G offering will be available on mobiles in 65 locations from the end of February, including London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Coventry and Nottingham.

Those with a 5G-capable handset will be able to access Three’s 5G speeds at no extra cost to their existing data plan.

The company first made its 5G available to homes in August, as a broadband service across parts of London.

To mark the expansion to smartphones, Three has partnered with the Central Saint Martins art school to create an immersive 5G experience for London Fashion Week, using spatial audio, haptic feedback, a 46 metre projection the length of the runway, and an array of aromas.

The finale will culminate in an empty catwalk, with a 5G-fuelled digital version of model Adwoa Aboah, who will walk out in the last outfit of the show.

“Today we are celebrating what is possible through 5G with a showcase of our ultra-fast 5G capabilities marking the next step in our 5G journey,” Three chief executive Dave Dyson said.

“5G is set to change the world for all of us and we can’t wait for our customers to start experiencing it.”

Rivals EE launched their 5G offering to smartphones in May, followed by Vodafone in July and O2 in October.