Three’s 4G Hub is available from £22/month. You can get it together with a 32″ LG Smart TV for £23/month.

In the UK, Three has launched a new version of their 4G Hub router. Currently available for £22/month (or for £23/month with a 32″ LG Smart TV), it gives you unlimited 4G home broadband that you can use on up to 64 devices.

The new 4G Hub router (also known as the ZTE MF286D) supports download speeds of up to 600Mbps on 4G networks. In practice, the speeds available will depend on where you live but Three says a typical download speed might be 50Mbps to 100Mbps. The 4G Hub offers plug-and-play setup and also includes free next working day delivery.

In this article, we’ll review Three’s 4G Hub router. We’ll start by looking at how the 4G Hub works and at the best plans and offers currently available on it. We’ll also look at the technical specifications of the 4G Hub, along with the download speeds and coverage available on it.

Prices From: £22 per month
Device Offers:
Contract Length: 12 months or 24 months
Download Speeds: 50-100Mbps (typical download speed)
Will vary based on the signal strength & coverage in your area
Model Number: ZTE MF286D
Coverage: Selected UK postcodes (check your postcode)

Three 4G Hub Plans

In the UK, Three currently offers unlimited 4G home broadband from £22 per month. This is available with no need for a landline.

You can get unlimited 4G home broadband with a 4G Hub router on the following plans:

ServiceData AllowanceContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price

Three 4G Hub
Unlimited Data24 month contract£0£22/month

Three 4G Hub
Unlimited Data12 month contract£0£25/month

See all Three 4G Hub offers →

If you replace your fixed-line home broadband connection, you may be able to cancel your landline if you don’t need it for another reason (e.g. for making phone calls). This can save you in the region of £20/month on line rental, potentially making it a cost-neutral solution to get 4G broadband on the 4G Hub.

If you’re living in a 5G coverage area, you may be offered Three’s 5G home broadband service instead (currently available from £29 per month).

Three 4G Hub Offers

As a special offer, Three is currently offering a 32″ LG Smart TV together with their 4G home broadband for £23/month. It’s a significant offer as the smart TV is worth £239. You can use it to stream from services like iPlayer, Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+, together with the broadband connection from your 4G Hub.

Get 4G Hub with 32″ LG TV for £23/month →

The 4G Hub and LG TV offer is available for a limited time only whilst stocks last. You’ll need to sign up on a 24-month contract to get it.

If you want to get the 4G Hub on a shorter 12-month contract instead, you can get one of the following Smart Displays instead:

  • 4G Hub and Amazon Echo Show 5: This is an Alexa-enabled smart display, worth £79. You can use it for voice and video calling, along with things like controlling your smart home devices. You can get a 4G Hub and the Amazon Echo Show 5 for £25/month for a 12-month contract.
  • 4G Hub and Google Nest Hub: The 2nd Generation Nest Hub is a smart display with the Google Assistant built in. It’s worth £89 and you can use it for watching videos on YouTube, for listening to music and for controlling your other smart home devices.

You can see a full list of available offers on the Three website.

Three 4G Hub Router

In July 2021, Three launched their new 4G Hub router in the UK. Also known as the ZTE MF286D, it’s a major upgrade on the old 4G Hub router (the Huawei B535) which was previously offered to 4G home broadband customers.

When you plug in the 4G Hub router inside your home, it will connect to Three’s 4G mobile network. From that, it will produce a Wi-Fi network allowing your other devices to get connected to the internet.

The new 4G Hub router supports Category 12/13 LTE speeds (giving download speeds of up to 600Mbps and upload speeds of up to 100Mbps). In practice, however, it will rarely reach the top speed. Instead, Three says 50-100Mbps is more realistic as an average download speed. The 4G Hub router has a built-in 4G antenna but there’s also the option to attach your own external antenna using the 2 SMA ports on the back.

In terms of your home network, you’ll get support for Wi-Fi 5 technology (802.11a/b/g/n/ac). This allows up to 64 devices to be connected to your Wi-Fi network at the same time. There are also four Gigabit Ethernet sockets allowing you to connect wired devices to your home network.

The following table shows the full technical specifications of the new 4G Hub router:

Three 4G Hub
(ZTE MF286D)
Home Broadband Plans
Price:From £22/month
Data:Unlimited
Unlimited Data:£22/month
Contract Length:12-24 months
Mobile Connectivity
4G Connectivity:Category 12 LTE
4G Download Speed:Up to 600 Mbps download
4G Upload Speed:Up to 100 Mbps upload
4G Bands:LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20 & 32
External Antenna:Yes, 2x SMA connectors
Home Network Connectivity
Dual-Band Wi-Fi:Yes
Wi-Fi Connectivity:802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi Devices:Up to 64 devices
Ethernet:4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
Other
Dimensions:18 x 17 x 3 cm
Model:ZTE MF286D
Colour:White
More Information:See three.co.uk

Compared with the old 4G Hub router (Huawei B535-232), the main upgrade on the ZTE MF286D is the superior support for new 4G networking technology. Whereas the old 4G Hub router supported 2×2 MIMO and 64QAM, the new 4G Hub router supports 4×4 MIMO and 256QAM. In combination with the support for Three’s L-band spectrum (band 32), it should deliver much better home broadband performance.

Three 4G Hub Speeds

According to Three, the 4G Hub supports Category 12/13 LTE speeds. This means you’re able to get download speeds of up to 600Mbps and upload speeds of up to 100Mbps.

In practice, you’ll rarely be able to get the maximum possible download speed. This is because the speeds will vary depending on the signal strength and the available network capacity in your area. Instead, Three says an average download speed of 50Mbps to 100Mbps is a more realistic figure for customers using their new 4G Hub.

When your 4G Hub arrives in the post, you’ll be able to set it up simply by plugging it in at the wall. However, it’s normally recommended that you place it close to a window to maximise the 4G signal strength available. Ideally, you should choose an upstairs windows that faces in the direction of your nearest mobile mast. In some cases, adding an external antenna can also help to improve the strength of your 4G signal.

Coverage & Availability

At present, Three offers their 4G home broadband service in around 7.1 million UK homes. This is around 25% of all UK households. To check the availability of the service where you live, enter your postcode on the following page:

Check Three Broadband Availability →

In some cases, you might not be able to get 4G home broadband, even if you’re within Three’s 4G network coverage area as shown on the coverage map. If this is the case, you’ll be shown the following error message:

We’re on our way
We’re busy expanding our network to connect more homes.

You then have two options if you still want to get 4G broadband on Three:

  • You can get 4G broadband on the 4G Plus MiFi instead. The 4G Plus MiFi is a mobile broadband router with the advantage that you can use it more easily on-the-go. Unfortunately, speeds cap out at 300Mbps and the Wi-Fi signal also has more limited range (around 10m). However, it’s available to 99% of the UK’s population. Find out more about the 4G Plus MiFi.
  • You can do-it-yourself using a unlocked 4G router. If you like, you can “build your own” 4G home broadband service. To do this, you’ll need to buy an unlocked 4G router like the Huawei B311 or the Huawei B535. You’ll then be able to put an unlimited data SIM card inside it. For instance, Three offers a 5G unlimited data SIM card for £16 per month.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Three 4G Hub?
The 4G Hub is Three’s latest 4G home broadband router (released in July 2021). It provides you with unlimited 4G home broadband and download speeds of up to 600Mbps. You can use it to get up to 64 devices connected to the internet at the same time.
What 4G home broadband plans are available on the 4G Hub?
Three currently offers the following 4G home broadband plans:
  • 4G Hub for £22 per month (24 months): This is the cheapest way of getting Three’s 4G home broadband service. You’ll need to sign up on a 24-month contract to get the lowest available price.
  • 4G Hub + LG 32″ TV for £23 per month (24 months): For just £1 per month more, you’ll get a 32-inch LG Smart TV (worth £239) with your 4G Hub and with your 4G home broadband service.
  • 4G Hub + Smart Display for £25 per month (12 months): For a shorter and more flexible contract, you can get the 4G Hub on a 12-month plan. This comes with a smart display at no extra cost (either the Amazon Echo Show 5 or the Google Nest Hub 2nd Generation).
What speeds can I get on the 4G Hub?
Three’s new 4G Hub (ZTE MF286D) supports download speeds of up to 600Mbps and upload speeds of up to 100Mbps. In practice, however, you’ll rarely get the maximum possible speed. Three says the average download speed on the service normally ranges between 50-100Mbps.
Does the ZTE MF286D support 5G?
No. Unfortunately, the 4G Hub (ZTE MF286D) does not support 5G connectivity. You’ll need to get Three’s 5G home broadband on the 5G Hub if you want access to faster 5G speeds.
What coverage can I get on the 4G Hub?
Three’s 4G home broadband service is currently available to around 25% of all UK households. You can check the availability of the service where you live by entering your postcode on Three’s website.

More Information

For more information about the 4G Hub, please see the official Three Broadband website. You can also read our in-depth Three Broadband review.

Your Comments 7 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 7 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Christopher Pugh said:

    There are many comments on the internet about difficulties connecting Amazon Echo devices to the Three network. I have a Huawei B311-221 router. Reconnection fails when a Three SIM is used. I have to switch it off and use an O2 SIM in another device, using the same SSID and password, to connect. I then switch this off and turn on the Huawei B311 again. Does the ZTE Hub overcome this problem?

    • Hi Christopher,
      Great question! I’d also love to hear any feedback from other readers if they’ve tried connecting an Amazon Echo to the new 4G Hub. My understanding is that the problem arises from a combination of how Wi-Fi works on the Amazon Echo speaker and on the Huawei routers. Therefore, my assumption is it wouldn’t affect a ZTE-made router but that’s definitely a guess, so please do let us know if you’ve managed to try it out!
      Thanks,
      Ken

      • Christopher Pugh replied:

        Hi Ken, Thanks for your reply.
        Although many people report problems with Huawei routers used on the Three network, I have also seen one report of problems with a TP-Link device. The manufacturer recommended changing DNS to Google 8.8.8.8, using bandwith of 40 MHz and using the 2.4GHz band. One person said that this worked, another said that it did not.
        The “other device” that I used with an O2 SIM was a Huawei E5330 MiFi which connected immediately. I also put the O2 SIM in the Huawei B311-221 and it connected without problems, so it seems that it is a network rather than a router problem. Many compaints on internet, eg:
        https://uk.amazonforum.com/s/question/0D54P00007w2Vup/echo-dot-wont-connect-to-wifi

        • Hi Christopher,
          Thanks for the further information – that looks like a pretty strange issue. If it’s struggling to connect to the Wi-Fi network, my guess is that the issue must have been with the router as opposed to the 4G network behind it (the workaround where you connect to another device and then change the Wi-Fi router would also suggest it’s a Wi-Fi related issue as opposed to a 4G issue). However, this is definitely an armchair assessment from an observer, not actually having experienced it myself! It looks like a pretty strange issue from reading the forum thread that you’ve shared and others online.
          Given that Three is now bundling the Amazon Echo Show 5 with the 4G Hub, I’m hoping it won’t be a problem on the new 4G Hub. However, would definitely love to hear any feedback from anyone who’s been able to test this out!
          Ken

          • Christopher Pugh replied:

            Hi Ken, Thanks for your further reply.
            I agree that it is a Wi-Fi rather than a 4G issue. Where people report a problem with an Echo device, they are always able to connect a phone or tablet without difficulty. It seems that there is some peculiarity with these Amazon devices.
            However, using an O2 SIM in my B311 router always reults in immediate connection.
            Similar problems have been reported with the EE network, in the past. I tried an EE SIM this morning and my Echo Dot 3 connected immediately.
            Perversely, it also connected to Three immediately today. It reconnected again after resetting.
            Two things have changed since I last encountered problems: there has been an Alexa app. update and the Echo has updated itself to the latest software version 5470236804. Time will tell if all is now well. I hope that you get feedback from other contributers.

      • JOHN HILL replied:

        Hi Ken, just got the ZTE router today, connected to two echos without any issue at all, but did have problems with a Tenda 4G09, and had to use an EE SIM as a work around

  • I have one in my home office (aka garden shed) which is 100 metres from the house. Works well for Teams/Zoom calls, large spreadsheets, databases etc. Far better signal than the hotspot on my ‘phone and far more convenient than trying to link the office up to my home broadband.

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