British telecommunications company Three has announced today that it will invest more than £2bn in 5G as it steps up in the race to be the first to roll-out the technology.
Three has said that the investment in the infrastructure will put the company in a strong position to launch commercial 5G to its customers in the second-half of next year.
Part of the £2bn has been used to acquire the UK’s largest 5G spectrum portfolio and 5G radio equipment.
It also includes a high-capacity dark-fibre network to link together 20 data centres to support the volumes of data it expects will be transferred via 5G.
Demand for 5G is getting more widespread as the technology brings faster speeds and greater capacity for business and consumers.
Ofcom estimates that by 2025 mobile data traffic could be between 12 and 47 times greater than 2014 levels.
Three chief executive Dave Dyson said today that:
“This is a major investment into the UK’s digital infrastructure. UK consumers have an insatiable appetite for data and 5G unlocks significant capability to meet that demand.
“We have been planning our approach to 5G for many years and we are well positioned to lead on this next generation of technology. These investments are the latest in a series of important building blocks to deliver the best end to end data experience for our customers.”
But Three is not the only telecommunications company jostling to deliver the service first to the UK. EE for example, has begun nine 5G trials in east London today.
Vodafone too has begun trails in seven cities across the UK.
A government review into long-term telecommunication strategy published in July outlined the changes needed to enable full access to 5G, including legislation that will guarantee full fibre connection in new-build developments.
So now the race is on.