Three has announced its 4G contracts will not come at a premium, swiping at its rivals’ pricier plans.
The mobile operator has yet to roll out its 4G network, but is buying suitable spectrum from EE which the larger provider had to sell to appease regulators when repurposing its frequencies for its own 4G offerings.
Three is also taking part in the ongoing spectrum auction to buy up more and offer better connectivity to its customers.
In a statement released this morning, Dave Dyson, CEO of Three in the UK, said: “As we add the next wave of technology to our Ultrafast network, we’ve listened to our customers and thought long and hard about the right way to do it.
"We don’t want to limit Ultrafast services to a select few based on a premium price and we’ve decided our customers will get this service as standard.”
Three’s Ultrafast network includes its existing DC-HSDPA mobile technology, which provides faster speeds than 4G but not up to the standards of 4G, or Long Term Evolution (LTE) as it is otherwise called.
So far, Three only offers the Nokia Lumia 920, the Sony Xperia Z, Apple’s iPhone 5, the iPad mini and the iPad on its Ultrafast products, but promises by the time 4G is available on its network the choice of devices will be larger, including handsets from Samsung and BlackBerry’s new Z10 smartphone.
The announcement may act as a wake-up call to the other operators about pricing. EE – the only network offering 4G currently – has been criticised for high contract costs to access its 4G network and analysts claim it may have affected take-up numbers, although EE has yet to publish these.
Following the spectrum auction’s conclusion, expected in March, the other UK operators should begin launching their own services in the early summer this year.