Hutchison 3G UK (H3G UK) has issued an update on its progress in rolling out fourth-generation services, with the cellco confirming that it has now begun the process of enabling customers with a 4G-compatible device in a limited number of cities to receive the service. In line with its previously announced plans, H3G UK, which offers services under the ‘Three’ (‘3’) banner, will initially offer LTE-based services in the three cities of London, Birmingham and Manchester. Noting that it has looked to take ‘a different approach to 4G’, the operator has confirmed that it is working with a number of its customers on the first phase of launch, saying it is ‘paying close attention to their user experience to ensure we get it right before we accelerate the roll-out over the next couple of months’.
Looking ahead, H3G UK has said it expects to have rolled out 4G in 50 cities by the end of 2014, with coverage rising to 98% of the population by the end of 2015. Saying it remains on track to achieve these goals, the cellco has also reiterated that it will no levy any additional charges for the faster mobile broadband technology, with existing customers able to take advantage of the higher speeds as soon as its available in their area with a ‘simple, free software update’. As such, H3G UK has said it expects to have more than 1.5 million customers that already have LTE-compatible devices able to connect to the network by February 2014.