Hutchison 3G

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Type A brand of Hutchison Whampoa
Industry Mobile telecommunications, Broadband internet access
Founded 2000
Headquarters Other locations: Australia, Austria, Denmark, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Macau, United Kingdom, Hong Kong
Key people Canning Fok
Parent Hutchison Whampoa Limited
Hutchison Telecommunications International Limited
(Local websites are also accessible)

3 is a brand name under which several UMTS-based mobile phone networks and Broadband Internet Providers are operated in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The company was founded in 2002.

Hutchison Whampoa owns direct majority interests in the companies that operate the networks that are branded 3, except 3 Hong Kong and 3 Indonesia. These networks are majority-owned by Hutchison Telecommunications International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa.

All 3-branded networks provide 3G technology (WCDMA, some also run 2G and 4G networks). Hutchison Whampoa no longer holds a 3G license in Israel which was operated under the brand Orange, and in Norway which is not operational yet.[1] As of 31 December 2012, registered 3 customers worldwide numbered over 23.5 million.[2]

Internet access[edit]

Like other mobile-provider Internet homepages, 3's portal is 'free to browse' for some content in most 3 countries including Ireland, UK and Australia in most price plans; the user pays a fixed price for each video, text or application downloaded.

Besides that, 3 UK and also 3 Ireland initially made the decision to block direct Internet access from handsets, while 3 Austria allowed access to the Internet since the beginning.

In 2004, 3 released a PC Card 3G Data Card ("NetConnect Card") for Windows-based laptops which allows Internet access through 3's network directly from the computer, accompanied by a range of data and business tariffs. Later, more cards and USB modems for HSDPA were introduced.

3 Skypephones and Skype on 3[edit]

Main article: 3 Skypephone Series

In November 2007, 3 started to sell the Skypephone, which was developed in conjunction with the Chinese phone manufacturer Amoi and Skype, combining the functionality of a UMTS handset with free voice calls and instant messages from Skype. The phones were sold exclusively by 3 on contract and on a prepaid basis.

3 also produced an application called "Skype on 3" which brought the same functionality to S60 and J2ME-capable phones (but not iPhone or Android, although some unofficial Android versions were distributed[3]). Unlike the non-3 versions of mobile Skype, "Skype on 3" does not use the phone's data connection for voice calls, but instead places a normal phone call to a special number which 3 make available for this service.[4] 3 does not charge users for calls to this number.[5] This service is available in Australia, Ireland and the UK; it has been discontinued in Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy and Sweden.[6] A company called iSkoot (now Qualcomm iSkoot Inc.) was behind at least some of the clients and back-end servers[7] but iSkoot announced a shutdown scheduled for 20 January 2011.[8] It appears this shutdown initially affected the J2ME version and some Skypephones (which now show a "click to upgrade" link which either doesn't function or takes you to a page saying an upgrade is not available), but some S60 versions were not affected.[9] Skype have started sending emails indicating the Skype on 3 service will be terminated on 30 September 2014, in spite of Three's original "free for life" advertising. The recommended clients for smartphones will use the phone's data connection which may be liable to charges, instead of the dedicated access number used by the client, which was free to call.

Feel at Home[edit]

In February 2007 3 introduced '3 Like Home': a service that in theory allows subscribers to use any 3-branded network with the exception of 3 Indonesia without having to pay additional roaming charges, instead paying the same amount for voice, data, and messaging services as they would do on their home network. This also allows users to use their free or inclusive bundles and allowances while abroad. However, pre-pay customers do not benefit fully, as they can not yet use each 3 branded network for '3 Like Home'.

3 Australia confirm that calls made using '3 Like Home' are not included in any "cap" plan or inclusive bundles.

This arrangement is possible because of the roaming agreements between the networks. Each of the networks provides service to other partners networks free of internal roaming charges. This means that the marginal cost of a roaming call is much the same as a call on the home network.

At the end of April 2009, 3 UK announced that '3 Like Home' would no longer be available to customers of the 3 UK network from 30 June 2009. On 7 April 2010, 3 Sweden announced that '3 Like Home' would be discontinued on 23 May 2010. No cancellation announcements have yet been made for customers of other 3 networks.

On 19 August 2013, 3 Austria announced at a press conference that '3 Like Home' would no longer be available for new customers, following their acquisition of Orange Austria. Existing plans are unaffected.[10]

On 30 August 2013, 3 UK launched "Feel At Home" for UK customers visiting Australia, Italy, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Hong Kong and Ireland, where calls, texts and data are charged at their standard UK rate.[11]

On 4 December 2013, 3 UK added Indonesia, Macau, Sri Lanka and the USA to the list of countries included in its "Feel At Home" package.[12]

On 1 July 2014, 3 UK added France, Finland, Israel, Norway and Switzerland to the list of countries included in its "Feel At Home" package.[13]

On 22 September 2014, 3 DK added France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland to its '3LikeHome' list.[14]

3 Worldwide[edit]


Hutchison launched the Three network in Australia in 2003, via its majority ownership of Hutchison Telecom Australia Ltd (HTAL). In June 2009, HTAL owned 50% of the merged Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd, comprising both the Three and Vodafone networks.[15] The Three and Vodafone networks remained separate until August 2009.

On 9 February 2009, HTAL and Vodafone announced that they would be merging their Australian operations into a 50-50 joint venture called VHA Pty Ltd. All products and services offered by VHA would be marketed under the Vodafone brand,[citation needed] and VHA would hold exclusive rights to use the Three brand. Shareholder and regulatory approval for the merger was granted on 29 May 2009, [16] and was completed in June 2009.

Vodafone phased out the Three brand from late 2011 onwards.[17] No new registrations to the Three brand were made after this time.[17] [18]

Three Australia[edit]

Three Australia operates a 2,100 MHz 3G network in a 50/50 partnership with Telstra[19] (the radio networks are shared, the core networks are separate), covering approximately 56% of Australia's population. The 3G network covers Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, the Gold Coast, Canberra, Geelong, Frankston and Wollongong.

  • 15 April 2003 - Three launched its services in Sydney and Melbourne
  • June 2003 - coverage extended to Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and the Gold Coast.
  • February 2004 - Three Reaches 1750 Base Stations, and announces another 200 to be built by End of Year.
  • 2005 - Telstra 50/50 partnership commenced. 3 Australia spun off its 3G radio network into a 50/50 partnership with Telstra. Hutchison continued to own its separate core network, application and service platforms, and their retail 3G business independently and in competition with Telstra.[19]
  • Achieves 65 Company Stores
  • 2005 - Coverage in Canberra added
  • 2006 - Geelong, Frankston, Wollongong coverage added.
  • March 2007 - HSDPA was activated on the entire 3G footprint bringing peak speeds of up to 3.6 Mbit/s.
  • Mid 2007 - 3 launched a series of Service Centres,[20] which service customers' handsets dispatched from retailers, or those of walk-in customers (with 90% of the latter being available for collection within an hour of drop-off).
  • June 2009 - Merges with Vodafone Australia to form new joint venture operation named Vodafone Hutchison Australia. 3 Mobile remains a separate network to Vodafone at the commencement.

In areas not covered by Three's 3G network, customers roam on Telstra's GSM/GPRS/EDGE or UMTS networks. This agreement allows 3 to offer coverage to up to 96% of the population. In certain areas, customers may roam on Vodafone Australia's GSM/GPRS/EDGE network. Unlike roaming on Telstra's network however, data charges are inclusive to one's data plan, and is not charged separately. When roaming on Vodafone's network, '3 2G' will appear on a customer's handset. 3's total number of Australian subscribers reached 2,000,000 as of April 2009[21]

Hutchison formerly operated an Australian CDMA network under the Orange brand name. The Network was called Orange One and allowed customers to use their 3 Branded CDMA mobile phone as a Home phone when at home. Calls made from their mobile were charged at rates similar to those of a Landline. Customers also received a "Local Zone " number allowing them to be called on a Landline number whilst at home. Should the phone be out of the Local zone, Calls made to the landline number either diverted to the Mobile number at a small fee, or was directed to Voicemail on the mobile handset. These plans started at a very competitive price of $10.00 per month, and local calls from the local Zone to a local Landline was charged at 20c per local call, making their service cheaper than those of Telstra or Optus. The Orange One network was not as vast as others, and so Orange made arrangements with Telstra to allow the services of Orange one devices to roam to the Telstra network On 1 February 2006, it was re-branded as 3 CDMA, and this network was closed as of 9 August 2006. 3 CDMA customers were offered special tariffs and incentives to continue as customers on the 3G network, all customers either moved over to 3's 3G network or to other network providers.

3 has sponsored Big Brother Australia from 2005 to 2008 (when it was canceled), The Australian Cricket Team and Essendon Football Club.

Three Australia mobile networks[edit]

This is a list of known active mobile networks used by 3 Australia

Frequencies used on the '3' Network
Frequency Protocol Class Notes
900 MHz GSM/EDGE 2G Telstra network, accessible by roaming agreement
1800 MHz GSM/EDGE 2G Telstra network, accessible by roaming agreement
900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE 2G Vodafone AU network, accessible by roaming agreement
1800 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE 2G Vodafone AU network, accessible by roaming agreement
850 MHz UMTS/WCDMA/HSPA/HSPA+ 3G Telstra NextG network accessible by roaming agreement. Not accessible where there is 3GIS coverage
900 MHz UMTS/WCDMA/HSPA 3G Vodafone AU regional network, available outside major cities
2100 MHz UMTS/WCDMA/HSPA 3G Home network of 3. 3GIS network in 50/50 partnership with Telstra, covers capital cities
2100 MHz UMTS/WCDMA/HSPA 3G Vodafone AU metropolitan network (and second home network, post-merger).

Vodafone Australia[edit]

The Vodafone Australia's GSM mobile service on 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz covers 94.52% of Australia's population. The 3G 2,100 MHz UMTS network is available in metro areas of major cities and some larger regional centres covering 80% of the population. Expansion of the 3G UMTS network using 900 MHz to equal or surpass the GSM coverage is due to be completed by 31 August 2009.[22][23]

In a media release issued on 27 May 2008, Vodafone claimed 4.031 million mobile telephone customers connected across Australia (including 0.341 million connected to MVNOs).[24]

VHA Ownership[edit]

Vodafone Hutchison Australia is owned by:

  • Vodafone: 50% - as of July 2009
  • Hutchison Telecoms Australia Ltd (HTAL) - 50%
    • Note: HTAL is owned by:
      • Hutchison Whampoa: 52.03% - as of 16th 9 March [25]
      • Public shareholders: 26.84%
      • Telecom NZ: 10% (with an option for a further 9.94%)
      • Leanrose Pty Limited: 11.13%


3 Austria started operations in May 2003. The company promised to have 95% population coverage with HSDPA end of 2007. Currently, 3's 3G coverage appears to be limited to 94% of the population.[26]

Outside the coverage of its own 3G-network (UMTS/HSDPA/HSPA+) it relies on national roaming on the network of T-Mobile Austria[27] (before Mid-2012, the network of A1 was used for national roaming).

  • 3 Austria won a DVB-H license and launched the service in June 2008, with three devices and free usage of Mobile TV.[30][31]
  • September 2010 - The number of 1 million customers were exceeded.[32]
  • January 2012 - 3 Austria announced, its national roaming agreement with T-Mobile, which will introduce from July 2012. Customers of 3 Austria will be able to roam on T-Mobile's GSM-network where 3's UMTS-network is not available. Simultaneous clients of T-Mobile (including tele.ring) will be able to roam on 3's UMTS-network where T-Mobile's UMTS network is not available. The roaming agreement with A1 will be continued parallel until year-end.[35]

Radio frequency summary[edit]

Frequencies used on the 3 Austria network
Frequency Protocol Class
1800 MHz LTE 4G
2600 MHz LTE 4G

Austrian Ownership[edit]

Denmark and Sweden[edit]

3 Denmark and 3 Sweden have a common network covering most of the two countries. Customers are "at home" on both networks, i.e. Danish customer receive calls from Denmark without paying roaming fees when they are on 3 Sweden's network and it does not cost extra to call Danish telephone numbers. 3 Scandinavia also has a license to build a network in Norway (in 2011 3 declared that they are not going to launch a 3G network in Norway), but currently 3 Denmark and 3 Sweden have to have positive financials. In 2008 both operations showed a positive EBITDA. In Sweden the mobile network is shared with Telenor, except for cities like Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo, Lund and Karlskrona where they handle their own 3G networks, but this practise is not allowed in Denmark. In the spring 2011 3 started, without Telenor, to build their own 3G Network on the UMTS 900-band which will give a bigger coverage. UMTS 900 and LTE 800 is rolled out using the same base stations. 3 Sweden is the only operator in Sweden that have the licence to build 3G at the UMTS900 band.[citation needed] Today 3 Sweden covers about 98.5% of the Swedish population.

In May 2012, 3 Sweden launched it first LTE services. It uses the TDD2600, FDD2600 and FDD800 bands. According to ZTE, this is the world's first multi-technics LTE network. Each day about two new sites are started.

In the beginning of 2014, 3 Sweden was Sweden's fastest growing mobile operator.

Radio frequency summary[edit]

Frequencies used on the 3 Denmark network
Frequency Protocol Class
1800 MHz LTE 4G
2600 MHz LTE 4G
Frequencies used on the 3 Sweden network
Frequency Protocol Class
800 MHz FDD-LTE 4G
2600 MHz FDD-LTE 4G
2600 MHz TDD-LTE 4G


Hong Kong[edit]

An advertisement for 3 in which Leon Lai, a Hong Kong-based Cantopop singer, is the pinup.

In May 2004, its affiliated 2G operator Orange re-branded its services and changed its name to "3 Dualband", referring to the GSM product, and "3 CDMA", referring to the CDMA product.

On 29 May 2008, Hutchison Telecommunications (Hong Kong) Limited announced that it has signed an agreement with Apple Inc. to bring the iPhone to Hong Kong and Macau later that year under 3.[39]

In 2012, a partnership with Vodafone and was launched and 3 Hong Kong is a member of the Conexus Mobile Alliance. [40]

Radio frequency summary[edit]

Frequencies used on the 3 Hong Kong network
Frequency Protocol Class
1800 MHz FDD-LTE 4G
2300 MHz TDD-LTE 4G
2600 MHz FDD-LTE 4G

Hong Kong and Macau Ownership[edit]

Note: Hutchison Whampoa owns 100% of HTIL (Hutchison Telecommunications International Limited)


Hutchison 3 Indonesia[edit]

The 3 service was launched commercially in Indonesia on 30 March 2007, with the company name is Hutchison Charoen Pokphand Telecommunications (HCPT). Only after 9 months of operations, 3 acquired about 2.2 million GSM customers. 3 achieved high customer mindshare maintaining at about 90% of awareness level as of April 2009.[41]

As of April 2009, 3 Indonesia had about 4.5 million customers on its GSM network. 3 offers both pre-paid and post-paid (contract) services. Currently, the post-paid service is available in Jakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya area.

3 Indonesia slogan is "Jaringan GSM-mu (Your GSM Network)", formerly "Jaringan Selularmu (Your Cellular Network)". Sometimes, 3 use "Mau? (Want it?)" and "Hanya di 3 (Only on 3)" slogan in their ads.

3 currently has full GSM coverage in Java, Sumatera, Bali, Lombok, and Riau Islands. And as of April 2009, Kalimantan is covered in South Kalimantan and Sulawesi is covered in South Sulawesi. The 3 UMTS/HSDPA service is now available in most parts of Java, especially big cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung.[42]

3 Indonesia launched its new unlimited text and MMS service for a fee with Facebook on 8 April 2009, so registered 3 customers can update status, write on wall, or upload new pictures freely without any more charges. Beside with Facebook, 3 also cooperated with Yahoo! to give unlimited chat for a fee by SMS and downloadable app using Yahoo! Messenger service. Both of these are the first of their kind in Indonesia.

It is announced that Charoen Pokphand divested its telecommunication business in Indonesia by sale of its share on 3 to Garibaldi Thohir and Northstar Group.[43] The company name is now PT. Hutchison 3 Indonesia.

Radio frequency summary[edit]

Frequencies used on the 3 Indonesia network
Frequency Protocol Class


  • HTIL: 65%
  • Gabrialdi Thohir: 35%

Note: Hutchison Whampoa owns 100% of HTIL

3 Store, Grafton Street, Dublin, Ireland.


3 has a licence for operation in Ireland using the access code 083 (although numbers can be ported over from other networks.) The service was launched on 26 July 2005 as Ireland's fourth mobile network operator behind Vodafone, O2 and Meteor. 3's coverage is made up of a single 2,100 MHz band UMTS network, with claims of 96% population coverage[citation needed] and 500,000 subscribers.[44] A roaming agreement with Vodafone provides GSM coverage where no UMTS signal is available.

Service was initially offered as post-paid only, but on 16 May 2006 the introduction of a pre-paid service, known as 3Pay, was announced. A pre-paid mobile broadband service was launched on 29 February 2008 under the name 3Pay Broadband, with vouchers available for durations of one day, one week, or one month. On 13 May 2010, 3 Ireland announced the launch of the world's first commercial voice and data I-HSPA network. The company operates 28 "3Stores" throughout Ireland, with plans to have 50 by the end of 2010.[44]

On 5 August 2010, 3 Ireland announced a four year, €7,500,000 deal with the Football Association of Ireland to become the primary sponsor of all Republic of Ireland international football teams.[45]

In August 2010, 3 Ireland admitted it has been overstating its subscriber numbers since 2006. As per its latest released mid year statements about 56 per cent of 3’s 554,000 registered subscribers are considered active. This is about 244,000 short of the figure supplied to ComReg.[46]

In July 2012, 3 Ireland announced a strategic partnership with Vodafone Ireland to share network infrastructure. This will facilitate rapid rollout of 3 Ireland's 4G network, while also making it less costly.[47] When a 3 user is using 2G or Edge connection, they are using Vodafone's 2G network, as 3 are a 3G/HSDPA network only.[48]

In November 2012 it was awarded LTE spectrum by auction, along with the three other incumbent network operators.[49]

On 24 June 2013, it was announced that Hutchison would acquire Telefónica's Irish mobile operations, O2 for €780 million, to be merged into 3 Ireland upon completion of the deal.[50][51][52] As of 2014, The European Commission has agreed to the go ahead of the merge.

On 27 January 2014, Three launched their 4G network in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Wexford and Waterford.[53]

In March 2014, Three expanded their 4G coverage to Ashbourne, Bray, Carlow, Dunmore East (home of Three CEO Robert Finnegan)[citation needed], Kilkenny, Leixlip, Lusk, Rush, Skerries, Swords and Tullamore.

Radio frequency summary[edit]

Frequencies used on the 3 Ireland network
Frequency Protocol Class
1800 MHz LTE 4G



In Italy, 3 was formerly known as Andala 3G SpA,[54] a company founded in November 1999 and controlled by Sardinian internet company Tiscali and Franco Bernabè. It was the first mobile operator to offer 3G services (UMTS), launched in March 2003. As of March 2010, 3 Italia had 9 million registered customers, thus being the local leader in the 3G telecommunications market. 3 Italy is the largest company in the 3-group measured in number of subscribers. It has a roaming agreement with TIM which allows its customers to get a 2G service when they move out of 3G coverage. This agreement allows 3 to offer coverage to up to 99,8% of the population on 2G service. On 22 February 2006, 3 announced the first launch of HSDPA technology in Italy, with initial coverage of Rome. The HSDPA service, which provides wireless broadband access with speed up to 14.4 Megabit/s, has been initially launched offering connection speeds up to 3.6 Megabit/s. The service has been called ADSM (as a contraction for ADSL Mobile). On 14 May 2006 3 was the 1st in Italy to launch the Digital Mobile TV with the DVB-H technology (70% of population); this service is currently available with three mobile models LG U900, LG U960 & Samsung SGH-P910.

3 Italy's slogan is: Meglio cambiare, no? (It's better to change, isn't it?). From November 2006 to March 2007, 3 Italy's testimonial has been Paris Hilton, followed by Luciana Littizzetto.

From 6 June 2008 3 Italy offers free of charge the vision of Rai 1, Rai 2, Canale 5, Italia 1, Rete 4, SKY Meteo24, Current TV and La7 television channels with DVB-H technology.

Radio frequency summary[edit]

Frequencies used on the 3 Italy network
Frequency Protocol Class
1800 MHz LTE 4G
2600 MHz LTE 4G

Italian Ownership[edit]

3 Power[edit]

3 Power is an international business unit of 3 Italia. As the first DVB-H operator worldwide, 3 Italia is clearly established as a strategic leader in the convergence of communication, information and entertainment. It has now more than 720,000 DVB-H clients. 3 Power provides DVB-H and UMTS services to operators and broadcasters worldwide based on the knowledge and expertise acquired by 3 Italia throughout the past years.

Possible sale of 3 Italia[edit]

Speculation from the UK newspaper The Times in 2007 claimed that 3 Italia had sent out an information memorandum in the hope of attracting potential bidders. Hutchison tried to sell up to 25% of 3 Italia in an initial public offering (IPO) in 2005 that it hoped would value the operator at around EUR10bn. However, the planned listing was cancelled in early 2006 after valuations failed to live up to Hutchison's expectations.[55]

United Kingdom[edit]

A 3 store in Banbury, England

The Three mobile service was launched in the UK on 3 March 2003 (03-03-03),[56] with handsets going on sale later that month. This made Three the UK’s first commercial video mobile network. On 9 December 2004, Three announced that they were the first network to meet their regulatory requirement of 80% population coverage in the UK.[57] Three's UK division is owned entirely by Hutchison Whampoa.

In order to provide coverage parity with other networks in the UK, Three maintains a national roaming agreement with an established 2G network operator. Until 2006, O2[58] operated this service for Three customers. However, Orange was selected as the new national roaming partner from 10 May 2006.[58]

Since Three invested heavily into 3G technology since its inception and wanted to run a 3G only service (which in turn would make infrastructure costs cheaper, which could be passed onto the consumer) Three was criticised in the early days for offering a very patchy 2G service in favour of 3G, when 3G had not fully caught on enough to achieve mass adoption, and Orange 2G was adopted in areas as a fallback where 3G wasn't available. The 2G fallback coverage provided by Orange has since greatly diminished, while still available, it is being removed in some areas as Three believe 3G technology is now sufficient enough for mass adoption - and as a result, many (often at the cheaper end) phones that support only 2G networks are not compatible with the Three network.[59] As of 2013, Three no longer provides a significant 2G fallback for most of the United Kingdom.

Three's first retail stores (3Store) opened at the same time as the network launched, on Oxford Street and High Street Kensington, both in London, and at the Birmingham Mailbox. Three's handsets and contracts are also sold by mobile telephony chains and independents throughout the UK, as well as online retailers. In 2005, an expansion of the 3Store portfolio saw stores opened in larger malls throughout the UK, such as the Bluewater Shopping Centre, and The Mall at Cribbs Causeway near Bristol.[60] On 24 October 2006, Three announced that it had purchased 95 high street shops from O2 and The Link.[61]

Three launched SeeMeTV, allowing its customers to submit their own video content that other subscribers could watch. Users pay a small micropayment (the price decided by the video's creator) to watch these videos. The user who created the videos will get paid 10% of the amount of money that is paid by other users to watch the video. Users are paid once they have made £10.[62]

Until 2009, Three subscribers in the UK, Ireland, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Hong Kong and Australia could use their service on Three networks around the world for no extra charge with "3 Like Home".[63] The service was relaunched on 30 August 2013 as "Feel At Home" for UK customers visiting Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy and Sweden where calls, texts and data are charged at their standard UK rate. Since then, additional countries have been added to "Feel At Home" including: Finland, France, Indonesia, Israel, Macau, Norway, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.[11]

On 18 December 2007, T-Mobile and Three launched a 50:50 joint venture called Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL) which aimed to combine both of their 3G networks and provide almost complete 3G population coverage by the end of 2008.[64] On 12 November 2010, MBNL announced that the network had reached a total of 12,000 combined sites.[65]

In 2010, Three became the fourth network to launch the iPhone after O2, Orange and Vodafone,[66] and was voted Best Network for Mobile Broadband in a YouGov survey for the second year in a row.[67]

Three's 4G Ready logo

Three began a limited rollout of 4G LTE services in December 2013 in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Reading[68] and will expand to over a further 450 locations by the end of 2014.[69][70] In August 2012 Three were given permission to use part of the 1,800 MHz spectrum used by EE's 4G network.[71] On 20 February 2013 Ofcom announced that Three had been awarded 2 x 5 MHz of 800 MHz to use for their 4G rollout.[72] Three planned to launch 4G in the second quarter of 2013 however they delayed the rollout until Q4 citing that they wanted to analyse the performance of other networks' 4G coverage first.[73] The network provides LTE and DC-HSDPA service as a standard feature to all its subscribers using "Ultrafast" to describe both technologies, making it the cheapest price for 4G and the only unlimited 4G in the UK.[74][75]

In July 2014, Three introduced the inTouch app[76] enabling Three customers within the UK to route calls and text messages via a local Wi-fi network where the Three mobile signal is intermittent or unavailable. The initial registration of the app requires a connection to the Three mobile network for authentication after which customers can utilise any connected Wi-fi network. Since Three customers can access the Virgin Wi-Fi network implemented at over 130 London underground stations,[77] the inTouch app permits voice, data and text messaging to continue without loss of service. Currently, the inTouch app does not perform a handover between Wi-Fi and mobile networks thus a call in progress via Wi-Fi will be dropped if the user moves out of signal range regardless of whether a usable mobile network is available.

Radio frequency summary[edit]

Frequencies used on the Three UK network
Frequency Protocol Class
800 MHz LTE (planned) 4G
1800 MHz LTE[70] 4G

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hutchison Whampoa Limited: Telecommunications
  2. ^ "Hutchinson Whampoa Annual Report 2012". Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Three UK "Skype" APK". Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Help for Skype: Can I use Skype on 3 abroad or over WiFi?". Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Help for Skype: Will it cost me anything to use Skype on 3?". Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Help for Skype: I heard that Skype had been discontinued on the 3 network, is this true?". Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "Three's Skype system revealed, and how to use unsupported phones". Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "iSkoot for Skype (on Internet Archive)". Archived from the original on 2011-04-22. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Help for Skype: How can I get Skype for my 3 phone?". Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Stepanek, Martin. "Orange ist Geschichte: 3 streicht Gratis-Roaming" (in German). Future Zone. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Feel At Home.". Three UK. 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2014-10-15. 
  12. ^ "Feel At Home now includes the USA!". Hutchison 3. 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  13. ^ "Bonjour to using your phone abroad at no extra cost in 5 new destinations". Hutchison 3. 2014-06-05. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  14. ^ "Hi3G expands 3LikeHome initiative to four EU countries". TeleGeography. 2014-09-23. Retrieved 2014-09-23. 
  15. ^ "About 3". Retrieved 20 June 2009. 
  16. ^ Staff. "ACCC not to oppose proposed merger of Vodafone and Hutchison". Australian Competition and Consumers Commission. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  17. ^ a b "Vodafone Ends New 3 Mobile Customer Registrations | Gizmodo Australia". 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  18. ^ "3 and Vodafone". Three. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  19. ^ a b ok2phone-com (2004-08-04). "Telstra, Hutchison share 3G network". ZDNet. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  20. ^ 3 Australia Website
  21. ^ Staff (2009). "Three - About 3 - Who we Are". Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (Three). Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  22. ^ "Coverage checker - Vodafone Australia". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  23. ^ [1][dead link]
  24. ^ Vodafone Australia exceeds 4 million customers and counting
  25. ^ Annual Report 2008
  26. ^ DerStandard: 3-Chef Thoma: Mobiles Breitband löst ADSL und Co. ab, 2 May 2008 (German)
  27. ^ Hutchison 3G garantiert auch in Zukunft bestes Netz, 4 Jan 2012 (German)
  28. ^ Computerwelt: Telekombranche guten Mutes, 4 October 2006 (german)
  29. ^ IIR: Award für "10. Jahreskongress für die Telekom Branche - TEL.CON 2007" (german)
  30. ^ Telecom Paper: 3 Austria to offer 3 DVB-H devices, free mobile TV use until year-end, 30 May 2008
  31. ^ Heise: DVB-H startet in Österreich, 1 June 2008 (German)
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Unternehmen - Presse - Presseaussendungen - Detail". 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  34. ^ "Unternehmen - Presse - Presseaussendungen - Detail". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  35. ^ "Neue Mobilfunk-Kooperation in Österreich | heise mobil". 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
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  77. ^ Template:Url=http:// WiFi on London Underground

External links[edit]