Three offers 5G-ready mobile phone plans from £5/month, with 5G coverage in 66 UK towns and cities.
In the UK, Three will be launching their 5G mobile service in 66 towns and cities at the end of February 2020. When it launches, all of Three’s customers will get access to 5G coverage at no extra cost providing you have a 5G-ready phone like the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G.
According to Three, their 5G mobile network will be the fastest in the UK when it launches at the end of this month. To date, Three’s existing 5G broadband customers in London have been able to get average download speeds of 232Mbit/s (with peak download speeds of 1.1Gbit/s).
In this article, you can find out more about Three’s 5G mobile service. We’ll look at Three’s 5G price plans and the devices on which you’re able to use it. We’ll also look at download speeds available on Three’s 5G service, the coverage that’s currently available and also their 5G home broadband service.
5G Price Plans on Three
Unlike all other major UK mobile networks, Three offers all of their customers access to 5G coverage at no extra cost. This includes customers with a Pay Monthly plan, a SIM-only deal or a Pay As You Go SIM card.
You can currently get a 5G-ready price plan from as little as £5/month on Three. This would allow you to access 5G coverage on a 5G-ready phone. Unlimited data is available on Three from £18/month.
All of the following price plans on Three offer 5G coverage at no extra cost:
Showing 34 of 34 price plans that match your criteria
You’ll need a 5G-ready device to access Three’s 5G network. This can either be a 5G smartphone that you buy from Three or it can be an unlocked 5G smartphone that you purchase elsewhere (e.g. on a SIM-free and unlocked basis).
If you’re looking for a new 5G-ready smartphone, the following handsets are currently available to purchase from Three:
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G (Most popular)
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S20 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A90 5G
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
- Huawei Mate 20X 5G
As an alternative to buying your handset on contract from Three, you could also buy a 5G smartphone elsewhere from other mobile phone retailers. With any unlocked 5G-ready smartphone, you’ll be able to access 5G coverage on a SIM-only deal from Three. You’ll just need to make sure your 5G device has support for band n78 (3500MHz) spectrum.
5G Download Speeds
According to Three, they’re building the UK’s fastest 5G network. They claim this is because they have the largest amount of usable 5G spectrum: something that’s vital for transmitting data and for delivering high download speeds on 5G.
In total, Three has 140MHz of usable 5G spectrum. This compares to 50MHz on Vodafone and 40MHz on both EE and O2. A single 5G carrier of 100MHz will be offered at launch by Three. This means Three is potentially able to offer download speeds that are twice as fast as what’s available on other UK mobile networks.
Three says they’re backing this up with a fully virtualised cloud-core network, multiple distributed edge data centres and next-generation radio access technology (64T64R Massive MIMO). This should help to give better 5G performance along with reduced latency and greater reliability.
So far, real-world download speeds have only been measured on Three’s 5G network in London. For their 5G home broadband service in London, Three says their customers were to access an average download speed of 232Mbit/s (compared to 30Mbit/s on their 4G network). On occasions, customers were able to access peak download speeds of 1.1Gbit/s (1,100Mbit/s). We’re looking forward to seeing actual numbers for the 5G mobile service, particularly outside of London.
According to Three, all of their price plans are offered without a speed cap so customers can always access the maximum available speed. This differs from other mobile networks like Vodafone where you’ll need to pay a little extra for uncapped download speeds on 5G.
At launch, Three will be offering 5G mobile coverage in 66 UK towns and cities. This is a decent increase on the 25 towns and cities that they originally promised would get access to 5G (albeit, the launch was delayed by two months from the original date)
The following UK towns and cities are confirmed to be getting 5G coverage on Three:
|Now Live||68 towns and cities are live on Three 5G (September 2020)|
Aberdeen, Abingdon-on-Thames, Aldershot, Aldridge, Balloch, Barrow-in-Furness, Basildon, Bath, Bedford, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Blackpool, Borehamwood, Bradford, Brighton, Brookmans Park, Cannock, Cardiff, Chatham, Clayton-le-Woods, Coventry, Crawley, Cullingworth, Derby, Doncaster, Dundee, Glasgow, Gorebridge, Grays, Grimsby, Guildford, Heanor, Hedge End, Hemel Hempstead, Huddersfield, Inchinnan, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Leyland, Liverpool, London, Lower Stondon, Luton, Maidstone, Manchester, Mansfield, Motherwell, Neston, Newquay, Nottingham, Nuneaton, Peterborough, Plymouth, Preston, Reading, Redcar, Royston, Sheffield, Slough, St Albans, Stevenage, Swadlincote, Swindon, Telford, Westhoughton, Wickford, Wigan
Three’s 5G coverage is making use of band n78 (3500MHz) spectrum. You’ll need to have a 5G-ready smartphone with support for this band.
For more information, see our guide to 5G coverage in the UK.
In addition to their 5G mobile service, Three also offers a 5G-powered home broadband service. Currently available to customers in London, it allows you to get up to 64 devices connected to the internet without the need for a phone line or cable.
Three’s 5G home broadband service uses the same underlying technology as their 5G mobile service.
|Service||Data Allowance||Contract Length||Upfront Price||Monthly Price|
Three 5G Home
|Unlimited Data||24 month contract||£0||£29/month|
Three 5G Home
|Unlimited Data||12 month contract||£0||£34/month|
For more information, see our guide to Three’s 5G home broadband.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re switching from another mobile network to Three to take advantage of their 5G service, it’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number.
Start by asking your current mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. This can be obtained by texting PAC to 65075, or by requesting it online through your mobile network’s website or app. You can then order your new 5G phone or SIM card from the Three website.
Once your new phone or SIM card has arrived, you’ll need to fill out this form on Three’s website. Once you’ve submitted the form online, the transfer of your phone number will be scheduled (normally for the next working day).
For step-by-step instructions on how to transfer your phone number to Three, please select your current mobile network from the drop-down menu below:
For more information, see our full guide to using a PAC Code.
For more information, please see Three’s website for information about their 5G service.