dglobalnews.com Three UK eyes 5G as it acquires Relish owner UK Broadband
Published: Wed, February 08, 2017
Tech | By Arthur Brown

Three UK eyes 5G as it acquires Relish owner UK Broadband

Three UK - owned by CK Hutchison Holdings, which also has stakes in mobile operations in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Macau, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Vietnam - is the youngest of the UK's major mobile carriers: it came to life only with the UK turning on 3G, and it then picked up users with cheap unlimited or high-cap data plans.

Three has already complained about the distribution of spectrum holdings in the United Kingdom, launching a campaign challenging Ofcom CEO Sharon White to "Make the Air Fair".

It is expected to be completed fully by the middle of the year and will add 15,000 customers to Three's current base of 9.2 million.

The share price of Hong Kong telecommunications company PCCW surged after it announced the sale of its British broadband internet business to CK Hutchison Holdings for 300 million pounds (HK$2.92 billion) on Monday.

The Relish brand is probably the most well-known element of UK Broadband's offerings, providing high-speed internet via 4G frequencies, removing the need for fixed connections to achieve coverage.

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Three will pay £250m for UK Broadband while a deferred £50m will be made available as a credit towards a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement on the telecom company's network.

Three, which has been openly critical of United Kingdom regulator Ofcom, has called for spectrum caps as part of the Make the Air Fair campaign it launched previous year alongside rivals including Relish.

Mann said: "Although Three will acquire new spectrum, the acquired band is not compatible with most of today's mobile devices, meaning that it can not be put to immediate use".

"It is likely to be a key band for 5G services, which will launch in the United Kingdom from 2020". UK Broadband was nearly certain to take part given its aspirations to expand its service beyond London, Swindon and Reading.

Three UK is now owned by CK Hutchison, which has mobile holdings around the world, including Australia, Europe, and Hong Kong.

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