Three is offering 5G home broadband for £30/month with 100Mbit/s download speeds and unlimited data.
In the UK, Three has introduced a new 5G-based home broadband service with average download speeds of 100Mbit/s. Currently available only to customers in London, the Three Home 5G service gives you unlimited data on a 12-month contract for £30/month.
A key benefit of Three’s 5G home broadband service is that it’s available without the need for a phone line or cable. You’ll get free delivery on the next working day, with plug-and-play setup without the need for an engineer visit.
In this article, we’ll review Three’s 5G home broadband service. We’ll start by looking at how much it costs, before looking at the Three 5G Hub router in more detail. We’ll then compare Three’s 5G broadband service to rival ISPs before looking at the coverage available on the service.
5G Home Broadband Plans
In the UK, Three offers 5G home broadband with just one simple price plan: unlimited data for £30/month. There’s a 12-month contract that you’ll need to sign up for, but unlike on other providers, this doesn’t tie you to a single address (as the router can easily be moved to another location).
|Data Allowance||Contract Length||Upfront Price||Monthly Price|
|Unlimited Data||12 month contract||£0||£30/month|
According to Three, average download speeds on the service should be 100Mbit/s (this is based on the speed that at least half of all customers are able to get in the evening peak hour between 8pm and 10pm).
You’ll get the router delivered for free on the next working day, providing you order it from Three before 4pm. In Central London, there’s also a same-day delivery option for £20, providing you order it before 3pm. On arrival, it’s a simple plug-and-play setup with no need for a landline or for an engineer visit.
An acceptable usage policy (AUP) applies to the Three Broadband service. Whilst there aren’t any limits on how much you can download, Three says they reserve the right to suspend your usage of the service or to apply traffic management to it, if your usage “either exceeds that reasonably expected of someone using the Service or materially affects other users’ enjoyment of the Service, or has an adverse impact on our network”.
It’s worth noting that the 5G Hub router is leased from Three and remains their property at all times. When you cancel your Three Broadband service, you’ll need to return the router to Three. If you don’t, a non-return fee of £105 will be charged. Additionally, Three may still ask you to return the router to them.
A 14-day money back guarantee is available to customers who aren’t satisfied with the 5G home broadband service from Three.
Three 5G Hub
When you sign up for Three’s 5G broadband service, you’ll be sent a Three 5G Hub router. Behind the scenes, this is simply a rebranded version of the Huawei 5G CPE Pro router which is also used by Vodafone’s GigaCube service.
The Three 5G Hub router connects to Three’s 4G and 5G network. From this, it broadcasts a wi-fi network across your home for other devices to connect to (including your laptop, tablet, smartphone, smart TV and other smart devices). There’s no difference to regular fibre broadband as far as your other devices are concerned: you can still use all of the services and apps you’re used to.
In theory, it’s possible to get Gigabit download speeds on the 5G Hub router (download speeds of more than 1,000Mbit/s). In reality, Three says 100Mbit/s is a more realistic download speed on their network. It’s possible, however, you can beat this if you’re in an area with good coverage.
Up to 64 devices can be connected to your Three 5G Hub router at any time. The router supports dual-band Wi-Fi and the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax). There are also two Gigabit Ethernet sockets available for you to connect a wired device to your network.
It’s worth noting that the 5G Hub router doesn’t actually belong to you when you’re using Three’s 5G home broadband service. If you decide to cancel your service, you’ll need to return the router. This differs from the Huawei B535 HomeFi Plus and the Huawei AI Cube B900 (both of which you’re able to keep at the end of your contract for no extra cost).
|Three 5G Home|
(Huawei 5G CPE Pro)
|Home Broadband Plans|
|Contract Length:||12 months|
|5G Connectivity:||Up to 2330 Mbit/s download|
|4G Download Speed:||Up to 1600 Mbit/s download|
|4G Upload Speed:||Up to 150 Mbit/s upload|
|4G Bands:||LTE bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 18, 19, 20, 28, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 & 43|
|External Antenna:||Yes, 2x TS-9 connectors|
|Home Network Connectivity|
|Wi-Fi Devices:||Up to 64 devices|
|Ethernet:||2 Gigabit Ethernet ports|
|Model:||Huawei 5G CPE Pro|
|More Information:||See three.co.uk|
Three vs Fibre Broadband Providers
The main difference between Three and rival ISPs is the technology that’s used behind the scenes. Whereas rival providers use fixed-line technology, Three uses 4G & 5G broadband that’s delivered wirelessly over the airwaves. As such, they can offer things like a plug-and-play setup without the need for an engineer to visit your property. They can also offer a shorter 12-month contract and the ability for you to bring your broadband router with you to other places.
In terms of download speed and price, Three’s 5G service is easily competitive against fibre broadband providers. For instance, at the time of writing, BT charges £29.99/month on a 24-month contract for fibre broadband with an average download speed of 36Mbit/s.
Other 4G & 5G Broadband Services
If you’re looking for other 4G and 5G home broadband services, a number of alternatives are also available from Vodafone and EE.
Vodafone offers 4G and 5G home broadband through their GigaCube service. You can get a GigaCube from £30/month for 100GB of data, £40/month for 200GB of data or £50/month for unlimited data. With GigaCube, you’ll also get the Huawei 5G CPE Pro router (the same router as on Three’s 5G broadband service).
EE has a 5G broadband service in the form of 5GEE WiFi, starting at £50/month for a rather measly 50GB of data. The largest data allowance currently available is 100GB per month, costing you £75/month on a 24-month contract. Alternatively, a cheaper 4G broadband service is available in the form of 4GEE Home, with prices starting from £35/month for 50GB of data.
Three also offers two 4G-based home broadband services. You can get the Huawei B535 HomeFi Plus for £20/month or the AI Cube router for £25/month. The two 4G-based services come with unlimited data on a 24-month contract. The AI Cube also doubles up as an Amazon Alexa smart speaker, so you can use it to listen to music at home and to control your smart home devices.
|Service||Data Allowance||Contract Length||Upfront Price||Monthly Price|
Three HomeFi Plus
|Unlimited Data||24 month contract||£0||£20/month|
with special offer
Three AI Cube
|Unlimited Data||24 month contract||£0||£25/month|
For more information, see our full guide to 4G and 5G broadband services in the UK.
At present, Three’s 5G home broadband service is available to customers in selected parts of London. The best way to check whether the service is available where you live is by using the address checker on Three’s website.
Once you’ve entered your postcode and address, you’ll be told about the plans that are available in your area. Alternatively, you’ll be offered a 4G broadband plan (either the HomeFi or AI Cube) if 5G coverage isn’t yet available where you live.
Other Towns & Cities
At launch, Three’s 5G home broadband service is only available to customers in London. Over the next few months, additional towns and cities should be added to the service, with a total of 25 towns and cities having 5G broadband by Q1 2020:
|Now Live||1 towns and cities are live on Three 5G (February 2020)|
|65 towns and cities planned|
Aberdeen, Abingdon-on-Thames, Aldershot, Balloch, Barrow-in-Furness, Basildon, Bath, Bedford, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Blackpool, Borehamwood, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Brookmans Park, Cannock, Cardiff, Chatham, Clayton-le-Woods, Coventry, Crawley, Cullingworth, Doncaster, Dundee, Glasgow, Gorebridge, Grimsby, Guildford, Heanor, Hedge End, Hemel Hempstead, Huddersfield, Inchinnan, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Leyland, Liverpool, Lower Stondon, Luton, Maidstone, Manchester, Motherwell, Neston, Newquay, Nottingham, Nuneaton, Peterborough, Plymouth, Preston, Reading, Redcar, Royston, Sheffield, Shelly Green, Slough, St Albans, Sunderland, Swadlincote, Swansea, Swindon, Westhoughton, Wickford, Wigan (February 2020)
If you’re living in an area without access to 5G broadband, it may still be possible to use Three’s 4G home broadband service. The HomeFi+ service is available from £20/month and the AI Cube service is available from £25/month.
For more information, see our full review of the coverage on Three.
For more information about Three’s 5G home broadband service, please see their official website. You can also see our full guide to 4G & 5G broadband services in the UK.