Three offers 5G coverage in 66 UK towns and cities, along with 99% population coverage on 3G & 4G.
In the UK, Three offers 5G, 4G and 3G mobile network coverage. The most advanced form of coverage and the fastest available download speeds are available on Three’s 5G network in 66 UK towns and cities.
Outside of their 5G-enabled towns and cities, Three offers 99% population coverage on their 3G and 4G mobile networks. It’s possible to access up to Category 6 LTE download speeds of 300Mbit/s, with average download speeds of around 20Mbit/s on 4G.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can check the coverage available from Three in your area, including where you’re able to see a coverage map for 5G, 4G and 3G. We’ll also discuss the features of each type of coverage, along with Three’s home broadband coverage and international coverage when you travel abroad.
Three Coverage Map
The easiest way to check the coverage from Three in your area is by using their online coverage map. You can enter your postcode on their map to see an indication of whether 5G, 4G and 3G coverage is available. You can also see the types of coverage available (e.g. both indoor & outdoor coverage, or only outdoor coverage).
We’d strongly recommend using Three’s online coverage checker before you sign up to a new tariff from Three. For the most accurate results, you’ll also need to enter the name of the device you’re using on Three’s network:
You can use the tabs on Three’s online coverage checker to switch between 5G, 4G and 3G coverage maps.
For further information, continue reading on to find out more about the different types of coverage on Three. We’ll discuss what you’re able to do with each type of coverage, the download speeds available and where you can see a coverage map for your area.
Overview of Three Coverage
In the UK, Three currently offers 5G, 4G and 3G coverage, with varying amounts of the population covered by each type of coverage:
|Three Coverage Type||Coverage Level||Supported Bands & Frequencies|
|5G Coverage||✔ 66 towns and cities||
|4G Coverage||✔ 99.8% population coverage
(with 4G Super Voice in some areas)
|3G Coverage||✔ 98.7% population coverage||
|2G Coverage||✘ Not available|
You can access all types of coverage on any price plan from Three providing you have a device that’s compatible with the coverage type (and the bands and frequencies used by Three). For instance, Three offers 5G at no extra cost to all of their customers. You can therefore access 5G coverage on any 5G-ready device. This is different from most other mobile networks which normally require you to have a specific 5G-ready price plan.
It’s worth noting that Three is the only UK mobile network not to offer any 2G coverage. For most people, this shouldn’t make a huge difference unless you have an older 2G-only phone which will not work on Three’s network. In addition, some dual-SIM smartphones will not function properly on Three if the secondary SIM card slot only has support for 2G coverage.
Three also provides the coverage for multiple other networks including SMARTY and iD Mobile.
Three 5G Coverage
The fastest and most advanced form of coverage available on Three is their 5G network which recently launched in February 2020.
Currently available in 66 UK towns and cities, customers using the 5G service from Three can access peak download speeds of more than 1,000Mbit/s (1Gbit/s). Average download speeds on 5G are more than 100Mbit/s, making it significantly faster than a regular 4G connection.
The following towns and cities currently have access to 5G coverage from Three:
|Now Live||68 towns and cities are live on Three 5G (May 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
According to Three, they’re currently building the UK’s fastest 5G network. Their basis for this claim is the fact they currently hold the largest amount of usable 5G spectrum across all UK coverage providers. The amount of spectrum is important for transmitting data and for delivering higher speeds on a 5G network.
In total, Three has 140MHz of 5G spectrum, compared to 50MHz for Vodafone and 40MHz for EE and O2. This allows them to deploy a single 5G carrier of 100MHz which can potentially offer download speeds that are up to twice as fast as what is available on other networks. In practice, the full 100MHz carrier isn’t currently being used in the majority of locations, but this might change in the future as Three rolls out their 5G service more widely.
In addition to having more 5G spectrum than other UK mobile networks, Three has launched a fully virtualised cloud-core network, multiple distributed edge data centres and next-generation radio access technology (64T64R Massive MIMO technology). It says this should enable better 5G performance, along with other benefits like reduced latency and better network reliability.
Three’s 5G coverage uses band n78 spectrum (3500MHz). Your 5G device will need to have support for this band if you’d like to access 5G coverage on the Three network.
Other Coverage Types
Three also offers 3G and 4G coverage, along with 4G Super-Voice (VoLTE) in certain areas. Wi-Fi Calling is also available on Three providing you have a smartphone that’s compatible with the service.
Notably, Three is the only UK mobile network not to offer any 2G coverage. For most people, this shouldn’t make a huge difference unless you have an older 2G-only phone which won’t work on Three’s network. Some dual-SIM smartphones may also not function correctly on Three if the secondary SIM card slot only supports 2G coverage.
Three was the UK’s first mobile network to launch a 3G service, all the way back on the 3rd March 2003. Over the following 17 years, the network has grown from humble beginnings to now covering 98.7% of the UK’s population on 3G.
Today, Three’s 3G mobile network is used to carry phone calls, text messages and data. Normally, your mobile phone will only connect to 3G networks when 4G coverage isn’t available in your area. Some mobile phones, however, will drop back to 3G coverage whenever you’re on a phone call (unless you’re using 4G Super-Voice or Wi-Fi Calling). For this reason, it’s best to live in an area where you can get both 3G and 4G coverage from Three.
Three’s 3G network uses 2100MHz spectrum. With their 3G coverage, it’s possible to access download speeds of up to 42Mbit/s using dual-carrier HSPA+ technology.
Three launched their 4G mobile network in December 2013. Nowadays, it’s the most common type of coverage in use, offering Category 6 LTE download speeds of up to 300Mbit/s. In practice, average download speeds are normally in the region of 20Mbit/s on Three.
At the time of writing, Three says their 4G network covers 99.8% of the UK’s population.
Three’s 4G network primarily uses band 3 (1800MHz) spectrum. In areas where the 4G Super-Voice service has been switched on, 4G coverage is also available using band 20 (800MHz) spectrum on compatible devices.
In 2019, Three started a four-year programme to upgrade their 4G network across the UK. According to Three, the upgrade will boost network capacity and download speeds by up to 150%. They’re doing this by upgrading older 3G spectrum to 4G spectrum at a total of 12,500 sites. This will introduce additional 4G coverage at band 1 (2100MHz). Additionally, 6,000 sites (mainly situated in busy urban areas), will get 1400MHz L-band spectrum. This will introduce supplementary 4G coverage at band 32 SDL (1400MHz) .
4G Super-Voice & Wi-Fi Calling
Both 4G Super-Voice and Wi-Fi Calling are designed to improve indoor coverage when you make and receive phone calls. 4G Super-Voice uses lower frequency 800MHz spectrum which can travel further inside of a building. Meanwhile, Wi-Fi Calling allows you to make and receive phone calls whenever you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network.
At the time of writing, 4G Super-Voice and Wi-Fi Calling are available on the iPhone 6 and newer. It will also work on selected Android smartphones, as long as you purchased your mobile phone directly from Three:
- Apple: iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE
- Huawei: Huawei Honor 6X, Huawei Honor 9, Huawei P10, Huawei P10 Plus, Huawei P9, Huawei Mate 9, Huawei Mate 10 Pro
- LG: LG G6, LG G5, LG G4 Compact, LG G4, LG Spirit 4G, LG Stylus 3, K3
- HTC: HTC 10
- Lenovo: Lenovo P2
- Razer: Razer Phone
- Microsoft: Nokia Lumia 550
- Motorola: Moto G 4G 3rd Gen, Moto E4 Plus
- Samsung: Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, Samsung S5 Neo, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy A5 2017, Samsung Galaxy J3 2016, Samsung J3 2017, Samsung Galaxy A3 2017, Samsung Galaxy A3 2016, Samsung Galaxy Note 4
- Sony: Sony Xperia Z5, Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, Sony Xperia X, Sony Xperia XA, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Sony Xperia XZ
- ZTE: ZTE Blade V7, ZTE Blade V8
For more information, see the pages on Three’s website about 4G Super-Voice and Wi-Fi Calling. Previously, Wi-Fi Calling on Three was known as inTouch so you may still see the inTouch brand name being used in some places.
Three Home Broadband Coverage
In the UK, Three has offered 4G home broadband since February 2019, with a choice of either the Huawei B535 HomeFi Plus or the Huawei AI Cube B900 router. An alternative to fixed-line home broadband, Three’s home broadband service allows you to get your home devices online without the need for a phone line or engineer visit.
The coverage for Three’s home broadband service is the same as for Three’s mobile phone service. This is because both services use the same underlying 3G and 4G network with 99.8% population coverage. If you’re using an external 4G antenna on the HomeFi Plus router, it may even be possible to pick up a 4G home broadband signal in places where you can’t normally get a 4G mobile phone signal.
For customers travelling to one of 71 destinations (including most European countries, the USA, Australia and more), Go Roam allows you to use your mobile phone abroad at no extra charge. This is available to customers on both Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go.
If you’re travelling to a country that isn’t a Go Roam destination, additional charges will apply for your usage when abroad. In some countries, there’s a £5/day Data Passport add-on which will give you unlimited data at a fixed daily fee. This is available in Azerbaijan, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Frequently Asked Questions
|How can I check the coverage on Three in my area?||
You can check the coverage from Three in your area using their online coverage map. You’ll need to enter your postcode to see the results for whether 5G, 4G and 3G coverage types are available where you live.
|Does Three offer 5G coverage?|
|What download speeds are available on Three?||
On Three, it’s possible to get download speeds of up to 300Mbit/s on 4G and download speeds of up to 1Gbit/s (1,000Mbit/s) on 5G. In practice, real-world speeds depend on the coverage at your location. However, the average speed is about 20Mbit/s on 4G and about 100Mbit/s on 5G.
|What types of coverage does Three offer?|
|What’s the coverage like on Three home broadband?|
|Does Three offer any international coverage?|
Please see Three’s official website for more information about their network and about the coverage available where you live.