Three 5G is more popular than 3G, and covers 370 towns and cities

11 April 2022

Three 5g

Three’s 5G service is unsurprisingly a massive hit, as the network has revealed that use of 5G has increased by a whopping 385% since 2020, leading 5G use to overtake 3G on the network.

4G is still in the lead here – which makes sense since Three has 99.8% UK population coverage with 4G, but 5G is catching up – already it’s available in parts of 370 towns and cities, with over 2,700 sites live.

That equates to over a third of population having Three 5G coverage, and that figure is only going to grow, with Three predicting that 35% of the data traffic on its network will be carried over 5G by the end of 2022, which would amount to 23 hours of saved download time every month on average – so just imagine how much time we’ll be saving once most of Three’s traffic is carried over 5G.

These impressive stats were housed in Three’s Mobile Britain 2022 report, which was carried out by Opinium, and also includes input from 2,000 UK adults, who were surveyed during March 2022.

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Everyone's upgrading to 5G

So what else can you find in the report? Well, it also found that the number of 5G devices connected to Three’s network increased by 299% between December 2020 and December 2021, to 2.2 million 5G devices in total.

That shows people are really starting to embrace 5G, though it will be helped by the price of 5G phones dropping, with most new handsets now sporting the tech.

Another nugget of information is that football and Sunday night streaming are major uses of data on the network, with the former leading to an all-time high of 1tbps (terabyte per second) used by the network during the recent Liverpool and Manchester City Champions League matches. That’s equivalent to 66,667 concurrent 4K streams, and football matches have been responsible for 81% of monthly data peaks in the last two years.

The latter meanwhile has led to smaller but still notable highs on many Sunday nights, with Sundays being the days with the highest peak usage for 4 of 8 weeks as a result.

Of course, with the speed and reliability 5G offers, mobile data use in these situations and others is sure to continue growing as Three’s 5G network continues to expand.

Editorial Manager

James has been writing for us for over 10 years. Currently, he is Editorial Manager for our group of companies (, and and sub-editor at TechRadar. He specialises in smartphones, mobile networks/ technology, tablets, and wearables.

In the past, James has also written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media, Smart TV Radar, and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV. He has a film studies degree from the University of Kent, Canterbury, and has over a decade’s worth of professional writing experience.

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