back to article Three to pleasure bumpkins with 800MHz

Hutchison's Three will finally launch into the prime 800MHz band later this year, which it expects will improve rural coverage significantly. H3UK won two bands of 800MHz spectrum in the auction round held two years ago. Previously it was the only operator without lower frequency spectrum dating from the first digital handouts …

  1. HollyHopDrive

    as somebody who has just returned to three....

    ..... Good news indeed but I get way better data coverage in the less densely populated areas than I did from o2 (or should that be no2) so if it's going to get even better then brilliant. At least if/when three get o2 and merge it all together they will kill off o2's stupid gprs service which I seemed to spend too much time on when not in any kind of city.

    1. Lysenko

      Re: as somebody who has just returned to three....

      Always a "YMMV" issue. I have Voda, EE, O2 and 3 (business reasons) and out in rural (but not exactly wilderness) TF9 only O2 has a stable 3G connection.

      3 just won't work, Voda fluctuates alarmingly from 4 bar 3G to nothing several times a minute and EE mostly manages bad 2G at best. Wired broadband is around 7Mbps.

      Fifteen minutes drive home to urban suburbs and I have 18Mbs EE 4G and 1.6Mbps (that is NOT a typo) wired BT. (in both areas OpenReach is the only game in town unless I lease a private PtP microwave link).

      All the SIMs get used at one customer site or another (re-routed with an 08453 number). Personally I can't see any likelihood of a unified solution other than merging all networks into one with a covenant that all base stations be retained. Which is re-inventing the GPO of course ;)

  2. Nipsirc

    Not so good if you've got a OnePlus One

    For a start the OnePlus One doesn't have a band 20 radio, so can't use 800Mhz, and then the Three 'In Touch' app doesn't allow you to use it as it believes a Cyanogenmod phone is rooted, even when it isn't. not sure what it looks for, but whatever it is, it's wrong. Looks like I could be a bit stuffed.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Not so good if you've got a OnePlus One

      Well, booga. I just renewed the family contracts with Vodafone. If 3 did this 3 weeks ago they may have had 3 new customers.

      I just refurbished the "family fleet" with end-of-line fire sales Xperia SPs which all happen to have a band 20 LTE radio.

      1. Nipsirc

        Re: Not so good if you've got a OnePlus One

        Thanks for your kind words :-)

        I have some friends on Vodafone at work - they use my phone as an access point in the centre of Bristol.

      2. coolAG

        Re: Not so good if you've got a OnePlus One

        Where would you buy end of line moves?

    2. zaphy42

      Re: Not so good if you've got a OnePlus One

      As always, xda-developers is your friend.

      1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

        Re: Not so good if you've got a OnePlus One

        As always, xda-developers is your friend.

        I have actually made an official complaint about this. First off, it could actually be taken as defamatory telling the public (not just in the app, but on their blogs as well) that the OPO is rooted, and could put people off buying it. Also, there is no technical reason why the app won't work on the OPO.

        Finally, as stated above there is a way to get it working. It is ironic: The way to get the app to believe the phone is not rooted is to root it! Ridiculous!

  3. Paul Webb

    The FT this week called the O2/Three merger a solution looking for a problem"

    It's at this point I was expecting some Real Reg Analysis (TM), not a paywalled link to elsewhere.

    1. dogged

      Re: The FT this week called the O2/Three merger a solution looking for a problem"

      It's just grumping without any serious analysis.

      Relevant bit is -

      "The European regulators appear strangely in thrall to the operators’ argument that they need to merge in order to invest in new networks and services. But there is no evidence that this is so. Although returns on capital employed have fallen in European mobile from a very high 20 per cent to 10 per cent over the past five years, this still well exceeds their cost of capital.

      Nor have regulators found a satisfactory substitute for the competitive stimulus they are permitting operators to eliminate. Guaranteeing access to virtual mobile operators is little more than a sticking plaster with few adhesive qualities. These entities neither reliably lead the market on price, nor can they deliver improvements to the quality of networks.

      Brussels’ past lack of rigour gives little comfort that it will reach a much firmer conclusion in the case of Hutchison’s British deal. Indeed the risk is that precedent will lead the European regulator to rubber-stamp the same flawed arrangements.

      The mobile business remains a national market and those affected are UK consumers. Either Brussels must toughen its line, even at the cost of some inconsistency, or it should break the circuit of dismal precedent and hand the deal back to the UK authorities. One thing is certain. Having messed up three mobile markets, Brussels should not be permitted to make the same mistake again."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The FT this week called the O2/Three merger a solution looking for a problem"

        Seems like a very fair analysis to me.

      2. Martin Summers Silver badge

        Re: The FT this week called the O2/Three merger a solution looking for a problem"

        Thing is, if they do merge they leave a gap for a new player to come along. Who knows, Google could come along and build out a massive network in no time at all with their resources. So I don't think it's a bad thing if they merge. I personally moved to o2 as I knew their coverage requirement in their licence and low frequency band use would make them the best bet.

  4. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    three do all you can eat data for £15/30 days, payg. best deal I've found and the data will actually get to my house, unlike o2.

  5. ScottME

    Three has been great for me

    I am still totally happy with my PAYG SIM from Three in my Galaxy S3 (3G only), which costs me a £10 topup every 45 days, and I generally spend £5 of that credit on a 2GB data add-on every 30 days. Each topup gets me 5000 free texts, 150MB data and unlimited calls to other Three users, which includes almost everyone I ever call on a regular basis. Apart from that I don't make many voice calls (because of Zoiper VOIP client on the S3). And recently they started giving me "free" roaming in France, USA and a bunch of other places.

    I joined the network originally because they had the best coverage where I live by some margin; I've rarely been out of luck elsewhere either.

    So hell yes, it's a low cost network as far as I can see.

  6. Defiant

    " 2.1GHz, which isn’t so suitable for indoors coverage"

    I was on O2 and trust me the 2.1GHz is better indoors for me

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