Three’s 5G network could soon get a big boost, as the company has extended its partnership with CityFibre (the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform), to see the latter connect an additional 1,300 key mobile masts across 59 towns and cities to full fibre backhaul.
The multi-million-pound contract builds on an earlier partnership between the two companies, which was set to provide full fibre backhaul connectivity to hundreds of Three’s sites by the end of this year – the first set of which should already be completed if the companies are running to schedule.
Indeed, CityFibre claims to have already supported the rollout of 5G at more than 100 locations across the country, but this latest extension of the partnership more than triple’s Three’s initial commitment.
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The backhaul is where data travels across the network before doing the last stretch wirelessly from a mast to your phone, so it affects the overall speed of a network, and upgrading to full fibre will ensure it’s very fast – just as 5G should be.
The move should also help make Three’s network more reliable, more able to keep up with growing data demands, and even help the network roll out 5G faster and more efficiently.
Susan Buttsworth, COO at Three UK said: “We are increasing investment across our network to meet the ever increasing demand for data by UK consumers. Fibre backhaul is a vital part of a reliable network experience and this investment will mean better connectivity for our customers across the UK.”
It sounds like good news all round then, and it’s a partnership that also means Three will have access to CityFibre’s small cell access points, which CityFibre claims will “ensure it has the local full fibre capacity in place to support the expected heavy demand of 5G services in busy urban areas, meaning a seamless service for customers.”
As for when the work will be done, CityFibre states that most of the identified locations for the upgrade work are “well progressed” and that it’s “ramping up delivery” ahead of the end of the year. So it sounds like a lot of progress should be made in the next few months, which could lead to noticeable network improvements for customers of Three.