Three backs down on '4G' rollout claims

Three backs down on '4G' rollout claims

Summary: The operator Three has toned down a blogpost in which it had claimed it was going to roll out '4G' mobile broadband in the UK this year.The original post appeared on Wednesday, suggesting that Three would market a very fast version of 3G — namely 42Mbps HSPA+ technology — as being 4G.

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TOPICS: Telcos
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The operator Three has toned down a blogpost in which it had claimed it was going to roll out '4G' mobile broadband in the UK this year.

The original post appeared on Wednesday, suggesting that Three would market a very fast version of 3G — namely 42Mbps HSPA+ technology — as being 4G. T-Mobile does the same thing in the US.

However, after sparking extensive coverage of its '4G' plans, Three has backed down, changing the post to refer to the operator's upcoming "leading edge 3G service" in its title.

"That was our mistake – it's definitely not 4G. It's 3G," a Three spokesman told ZDNet UK on Thursday.

HSPA+ may be fast, but it is indeed not 4G. Nor, until the end of 2010, was LTE, the technology that most consider to be 4G now.

LTE was originally classed as a 3G technology, with a follow-on technology called LTE-Advanced that would have qualified as 4G. However, in December 2010, the ITU agreed with operators that LTE and WiMax services could be justifiably marketed as 4G.

In terms of its benefits over 3G technology such as HSPA+, LTE is not only fast, but also more spectrally efficient than its predecessor standards, with less latency.

The spectrum needed to roll out LTE in the UK will be very belatedly auctioned off at the end of this year. After that, Three is likely to roll out its first UK 4G services.

Topic: Telcos

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • When is someone in authority, going to confirm or deny the comments made on the BBC ceefax service about the roll out of the 4G network, on the 800MHz band of frequencies, causing massive TV interference to millions of TV sets in the UK?.
    derfledermause
  • Hi derfledermause - we've already done a few stories on that topic, which is widely recognised.

    From June last year: http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/mobile-working/2011/06/03/4g-licence-bidders-may-have-to-pay-for-digital-tv-filters-40092990/
    And from February this year: http://www.zdnet.co.uk/blogs/security-bulletin-10000166/almost-1m-households-to-be-hit-by-4g-interference-10025456/
    David Meyer