Three offers unlimited 4G & 5G home broadband from £15/month. See how their plans compare.

In the UK, Three now offers 4G & 5G home broadband with no need for a landline. You can get online through a simple plug-and-play setup: there are no engineer visits required and you can get online the next working day.

Three’s 4G home broadband is available from just £15 per month. You can choose between their regular 4G Hub and the newer 4G Plus Hub.

For even faster speeds, you can get Three’s 5G home broadband from £10 per month for the first six months (then £20 per month). This comes with the ZTE 5G Hub router.

See all Three Broadband Offers →

In this article, we’ll review Three’s 4G & 5G home broadband service, including the plans available and the download speeds you can get. We’ll also review the Three Broadband hubs before looking at the availability of the service and how it compares to other providers.

Prices From: £15 per month (4G Broadband)
£10 per month for six months, then £20 per month (5G Broadband)
Contract Length: 12 months or 24 months
Download Speeds: 50Mbps (4G Broadband)
100Mbps+ (5G Broadband)
Will vary based on the signal strength & coverage in your area
Router: 4G Hub
4G Plus Hub
5G Hub
Coverage: Selected UK postcodes (check your postcode)

Three Home Broadband Plans

In the UK, Three currently offers two types of home broadband service:

  • Three’s 4G broadband is available from £15/month. It’s the most widely available option and has average download speeds of 50-100Mbps. In some places, you can access download speeds of up to 600Mbps.
  • Three’s 5G broadband is available from £10/month for six months (then £20/month). Currently available in selected postcodes across the UK, it offers an average download speed of 100Mbps. In some places, you can access download speeds of up to 1,000Mbps (1Gbps).

The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of the two services:

Three 4G Broadband Three 5G Broadband
Monthly Price: £15 per month £10 per month
(for six months, then £20 per month)
Download Speed: 50-100Mbps average
(up to 600Mbps)
100Mbps average
(up to 1,000Mbps)
Upload Speed: Up to 100Mbps Up to 100Mbps
Inclusive Features
Data: Unlimited Unlimited
Phone Line: No No
Router: 4G Hub
4G Plus Hub
5G Hub
Technology
Connectivity: 4G 5G
Availability: 25% of UK homes
Check availability →
300+ UK towns and cities
Check availability →

If you’re unable to get Three’s home broadband service where you live, you can get the 4G Plus MiFi instead. This is a 4G mobile broadband hotspot with the additional benefit that you’re able to use it as a battery-powered hotspot.

4G Broadband Plans

On Three’s 4G home broadband service, you can normally expect an average download speed of 50-100Mbps. This can, however, vary substantially depending on your location. In some cases, if you’re able to get good 4G coverage, you’ll be able to access ultrafast download speeds of up to 600Mbps.

If you’re looking for the cheapest available 4G home broadband service, you can get unlimited data on the 4G Hub. This is currently available from just £15/month:

ServiceData AllowanceContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price

Three 4G Hub
Unlimited Data24 month contract£0£15/month

Three 4G Hub
Unlimited Data12 month contract£0£19/month

If you’re looking for a more powerful router, you can upgrade to the 4G Plus Hub. This has support for faster Category 18 LTE technology. This compares to Category 12/13 LTE on the regular 4G Hub. In areas where Three’s network has been upgraded to support this new technology, you should be able to get much faster speeds (often in excess of 100Mbps).

ServiceData AllowanceContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price

Three 4G Plus Hub
Unlimited Data24 month contract£0£18/month

Three 4G Plus Hub
Unlimited Data12 month contract£0£21/month

See all Three Broadband Deals →

5G Broadband Plans

For customers living in a 5G coverage area, it will also be possible to get Three’s 5G home broadband service. This can offer up to gigabit download speeds (1,000Mbps) but Three says an average download speed of 100Mbps is much more realistic.

At present, you can get 5G broadband from just £10/month for the first 6 months, then £20/month for the rest of your 24-month plan.

The following table shows Three’s 5G home broadband plans:

ServiceData AllowanceContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price

Three 5G Hub
Unlimited Data24 month contract£0£10/month
for 6 months, then £20/month

Three 5G Hub
Unlimited Data12 month contract£0£24/month

You can check the Three Broadband website to see whether the 5G service is available where you live. You can also read our Three 5G home broadband review.

Special Offers

As a special offer for July 2022, Three has reduced their 4G and 5G home broadband plans.

The 4G home broadband service has been reduced to just £15/month on a 24-month contract.

For 5G home broadband, this is now available for £10/month for the first six months, then £20/month for the remainder of your plan. You’ll be able to get this special offer when you sign up through this link.

To get the savings, it isn’t necessary to use any voucher codes during checkout. However, you’ll need to complete the entire order process online.

See all Three Broadband offers →

Three Broadband Speeds

On Three’s home broadband service, you can access download speeds of up to 600Mbps on 4G and download speeds of up to 1,000Mbps on 5G. However, both of these are maximum theoretical speeds and the actual real-world download speeds will normally be slower than this.

The following factors can affect the download speeds you’ll get on Three Broadband:

  • The 4G or 5G signal strength where you are. You’ll normally get faster download speeds if you’re located in an area with good 4G and 5G coverage.
  • The location of your hub. To get the best performance, it’s normally best to place your 4G Hub or 5G Hub close to an upstairs window. Ideally, this should face in the direction of your nearest mast.
  • An external antenna can improve your speeds. Both the 4G Hub and the 5G Hub have a built-in antenna. If you’re living in an area with poor or marginal signal, adding an external antenna can significantly improve the speed and reliability of your connection.
  • The capacity on your local mast. Your download speeds will also be affected by the amount of capacity available on your local mast. For instance, if lots of other people are also using the service at the same time, this may reduce the speeds you get.

Because of the large variation in download speeds, Three normally takes a fairly conservative approach when it comes to marketing their download speeds.

They normally say you’ll get an average download speed of 50-100Mbps on 4G home broadband and an average download speed of 100Mbps on 5G home broadband. This is based on peak-time download speeds (between 8pm and 10pm). It’s also measured across the entire country, including areas where the coverage might be poorer. Therefore, you might be able to get much faster download speeds than average (or much slower download speeds if you’re in an area with poor coverage or congested masts).

If you use Three’s broadband availability checker, they’ll run an automated check on coverage and capacity where you live. This means you’ll only be offered a 4G or 5G home broadband plan if they think the signal is strong enough and if there’s enough capacity available where you are.

Check Three Broadband Availability →

Three Broadband Hubs

4G Hub

Three’s entry-level 4G home broadband service is provided using the 4G Hub router (ZTE MF286D).

The 4G Hub router works in much the same way as any other broadband router, producing a secure Wi-Fi network for your other devices to connect to. You can connect up to 64 devices to your 4G Hub with full support for Wi-Fi 5 technology (802.11a/b/g/n/ac). There are also 4 Gigabit Ethernet sockets available for connecting wired devices to your home network and two SMA sockets for attaching an external antenna if required.

The 4G Hub supports up to Category 12/13 LTE speeds (up to 600Mbps download and up to 100Mbps upload). Compared to Three’s older 4G broadband routers, it should give much faster download speeds as it has support for newer technologies like 4×4 MIMO and 256QAM.

For more information, you can see the 4G Hub specifications on Three’s website. You can also read our Three 4G Hub review.

Between September 2019 and June 2021, 4G home broadband customers were provided with a Huawei B535 HomeFi Plus router. Prior to that, customers received the Huawei B311 HomeFi instead.

4G Plus Hub

If you choose to pay a little bit more for 4G home broadband, you can upgrade to Three’s 4G Plus Hub router.

The 4G Plus Hub router supports a more advanced form of 4G technology known as Category 18 LTE. This means it’s able to deliver even faster download speeds in areas where the network has been upgraded. You’ll also get a dedicated app for managing your home wi-fi network.

The 4G Plus Hub is sometimes also known as the Sercomm LTE2122GR. You can find out more about it on Three’s website.

5G Hub

If you sign up for Three’s 5G home broadband service, you’ll receive the new ZTE 5G Hub router (ZTE MC801A).

The ZTE 5G Hub supports a maximum theoretical download speed of 3.8Gbps. However, you’re unlikely to get these maximum speeds on the 5G networks of today. Instead, Three normally states an average download speed of 100-200Mbps, with a peak download speed of 1Gbps (1,000Mbps).

The 5G Hub supports Wi-Fi 6 technology (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax), allowing you to connect up to 30 devices to it using Wi-Fi. You’ll also get 2 Gigabit Ethernet sockets for connecting wired devices to your home network, along with two TS9 sockets for attaching an external antenna if required.

When you cancel your 5G home broadband service, you’ll need to return your 5G Hub router to Three. This is because it is leased for the duration of the service, unlike the 4G Hub which becomes your property.

Coverage & Availability

Unlike most other broadband internet providers, Three’s home broadband service doesn’t rely on a phone line or cable. For this reason, the locations where you’re able to get Three Broadband will be very different to where you’re able to get fibre broadband.

At present, Three’s 4G home broadband service is available in around 7.1 million UK households. This is roughly 25% of all UK homes. Meanwhile, 5G home broadband is available in selected postcodes across more than 300 UK towns and cities.

You can check the availability where you live by entering your postcode on this page:

Check Three Broadband Availability →

In some cases, you might not be able to get a home broadband plan, even if you’re inside Three’s 4G coverage area as shown on their 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’ll then have the following two options if you still want to get 4G broadband on Three:

Alternatives

Three Broadband VS Fibre Broadband

Three Broadband uses 4G and 5G technology to deliver broadband internet into your home. This differs from fibre broadband providers who use a phone line or cable instead.

There are several key advantages of 4G & 5G broadband:

  • There’s no need to pay for a phone line. Unless you’d like to keep your landline for another reason, it’s possible to do away with it entirely when you’re using 4G or 5G home broadband. This can save you in the region of £20/month on line rental.
  • 4G & 5G broadband is faster to set up. There’s no need to wait for a phone line to be installed. This makes it perfect for some new-build houses, or if you’ve just moved to another address and don’t want to wait for broadband to be installed. On Three Broadband, your router will normally arrive on the next working day and you’ll simply need to plug it in to get online.
  • You can bring 4G & 5G broadband with you, wherever you go. With 4G and 5G broadband, you have the flexibility to bring your router with you to another location. For instance, if you decide to go on a weekend away, you can simply bring the router with you.
  • 4G & 5G broadband can sometimes be faster than fibre. If you’re living in an area where you’re able to get good 4G and 5G download speeds, this may be faster than what you’re able to get on some fibre broadband services.
  • 4G broadband can be best in rural locations. In many rural locations, companies like Openreach and Virgin Media have refused to install fibre broadband due to the prohibitive costs. In such areas, it is often far more economical to install a 4G mast and to deliver high-speed broadband over a 4G connection instead.

There are also some key disadvantages of 4G & 5G broadband:

  • 4G & 5G broadband is more easily affected by network congestion and poor weather. For instance, you may see a slowdown in your connection due to poor weather conditions or due to lots of other people using the service in your area. This tends to be less of a problem on traditional fixed-line broadband services.
  • Download speeds vary depending on location and proximity to nearby masts. For this reason, the maximum download speeds of 600Mbps or 1,000Mbps can rarely be obtained in practice. You can maximise your download speed by placing the hub near to a window and installing an external antenna.
  • Latency (ping) is higher on 4G broadband. The latency (also known as “lag” or “ping”) on 4G broadband is typically about 50ms (0.05 seconds). This is higher than fixed-line broadband where the latency is typically 10-20ms (0.01-0.02 seconds). This shouldn’t noticeably affect things like browsing the internet or watching videos online, but it could affect fast-paced online gaming.
  • 4G & 5G broadband is typically more expensive. Historically, 4G and 5G broadband connections have been much more expensive than fibre broadband connections. On Three, the price of 4G and 5G broadband is now comparable to many fibre broadband services. However, similar 4G and 5G broadband packages from other providers are still much more expensive than fixed-line broadband.

Other 4G & 5G Broadband Services

It’s also possible to get 4G home broadband or 5G broadband from a number of other providers:

  • EE offers 4G home broadband on 4GEE Home and 5G home broadband on 5GEE Home. Plans start from £35 per month for 100GB data up to £55 per month for unlimited 4G data.
  • BT offers 4G home broadband with unlimited data from £45 per month. You can choose from two different plans with a maximum download speed of either 15Mbps or 30Mbps.
  • Vodafone offers 4G and 5G home broadband on the GigaCube. Plans start from £30 per month for 100GB of data up to £60 per month for unlimited 5G data.

For a more in-depth comparison of the available options, see our guide to 4G home broadband deals and 5G home broadband deals in the UK.

Three Mobile Broadband

As an alternative to Three’s 4G home broadband, you can get the 4G Plus MiFi instead. This is a 4G-powered mobile broadband router giving you the same underlying 4G service as on the 4G Hub.

The advantage of choosing a 4G Plus MiFi is it gives you a lot more flexibility for usage on-the-go. You can use it for up to 6 hours on battery power alone whereas the 4G Hub always needs to be plugged in at the wall. You can also use the 4G Plus MiFi in more places as Three offers 99% population coverage on 4G for this service.

The disadvantage of using a 4G Plus MiFi is it won’t be quite as powerful as the 4G Hub. You’ll only get Category 7 LTE download speeds (up to 300Mbps) on the MiFi. Also, you’ll only be able to share your Wi-Fi with 10 devices at a time, whereas the 4G Hub allows you to share it with up to 64 devices. The Wi-Fi signal will also have a more limited range (around 10 meters, compared to 30 meters for the 4G Hub). On the MiFi, there also won’t be the ability to use an external antenna or to attach a wired device using an Ethernet cable.

At present, you can get the 4G Plus MiFi on the following plans:

ServiceData AllowanceContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price

Three 4G Plus Mi-Fi
Unlimited Data24 month contract£0£11/month
for 6 months, then £22/month

Three 4G Plus Mi-Fi
40GB Data24 month contract£0£17/month

Three 4G Plus Mi-Fi
10GB Data24 month contract£0£12/month

Shorter 12-month and 1-month plans are also available.

See all Huawei 4G Plus MiFi Deals →

For more information, see our Three mobile broadband review.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Three Broadband cost?
You can get Three’s 4G home broadband for just £15/month. This includes unlimited data on the 4G Hub. As there’s no need for a phone line when using Three Broadband, you might be able to cancel your landline making it a cost-neutral solution.
Are there any special offers available on Three home broadband?
As a special offer, Three has discounted their 4G home broadband service to just £15/month. You can also get their 5G home broadband service for £20/month  (with the first six months half price). There’s no need to enter any voucher codes during checkout but you’ll need to complete the order process online.
What download speeds can I get on Three Broadband?
You can get download speeds of up to 600Mbps on Three’s 4G home broadband and download speeds of up to 1,000Mbps on Three’s 5G home broadband.

In practice, real-world download speeds will depend on the coverage in your home and based on factors such as where you decide to put your hub. An external antenna can also improve the download speeds you get.

Across the entire country, Three says the average download speed is 50-100Mbps on 4G broadband and 100Mbps on 5G broadband.

What’s the coverage like on Three broadband?
Three’s 4G home broadband service is currently available in around 25% of all UK households. Meanwhile, their 5G broadband is available in selected postcodes across 300+ UK towns and cities. You can enter your postcode on the Three website to check the coverage where you live.
How does Three’s home broadband service differ from mobile broadband?
Three’s 4G home broadband and 4G mobile broadband both use the same underlying coverage and network. The main difference is the device you’re getting. Whereas the 4G home broadband hub is a mains-powered device, the 4G mobile wi-fi hotspot is a battery-powered device. The 4G Hub gives a stronger Wi-Fi signal and is able to support more connected devices. However, it’s less portable than the mobile broadband hotspot.

More Information

For more information about Three’s home broadband service, please see Three’s official webpage.

Your Comments 315 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 315 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Rhys Jenkins said:

    Hi Ken,

    Super article, thanks.

    I live in a remote part of Cumbria (no fibre), currently get about 6-15 mbps on sky broadband in most parts of the house.

    I’m very tempted by this because my 3 mobile gets 50-100 mbps on the mobile signal.

    HOWEVER, I do have a concern. It’s an early 1800s 5 bed house with super thick walls. At present with Sky I use 2 boosters (provided by sky) to give me coverage throughout the house.

    Is it possible to get boosters for mobile broadband like this (I appreciate this may be a stupid question 🤣).

    Is the range of these things generally similar to standard routers and are the measures you can take to extend the range if boosters are not an option?

    Thanks I’m advance 🙂

  • Matthew Hill said:

    Hi all – I’d really appreciate any thoughts on the following:

    I have a ‘3’ sim-only phone contract that includes unlimited data and, when accessed in my living room, offers me speeds of between 80mbps and 120mbps depending upon time of day etc. I use the sim-card in a relatively old Huawei Mate 10 Pro phone. I also have a ‘3’ 4g broadband sim-card that I use in the Huawei b535-232 router that was provided with the sim. This achieves speeds as low as 2mbps and rarely higher than 60mbps (in exactly the same spot in the living room). I can’t understand why there would be such an enormous disparity between the two? I recognise that hot-spotting my phone would be nowhere as effective at supplying wifi to my home as the router would, but why is the router SO much poorer at attracting the higher speeds than my modest phone?

    Is there potentially something I’m missing or some setting I should be looking to change in my router, so that it matches the efficiency of my phone? There is obviously great potential to reach decent speeds from my local ‘3’ mast, but why on earth is my router not capable and/or configured to take advantage of this to the extent that my humble phone is?

    Many thanks in advance.

  • I’m stumped – our previous router was giving us issues (who knew they don’t like to be dropped onto the floor), so we replaced it.

    With the new router I’ve managed to get ping at 40ms, download at 45.17 mbs – these are great figures, and I’m really happy with them. Its outstanding, to be honest!

    However, the upload is woeful! it is only 4.99 mbs. It frequently drops down to just 200 or 300 kilobytes

    i’ve been using this 4G system for internet for around 5 years now, so am very happy with it.

    could the mast have been also damaged in some way as to do this? is it normal to have such an extreme difference in upload and download speeds?

    we do loads of uploading of large video, files so I’m having to do it overnight when nobody else needs to use the WiFi!

    Andy B

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