Three is partnering with CityFibre for faster 5G roll out

18 February 2020

Three 5G

Three looks set to hit the ground running with 5G when it launches in 66 locations at the end of February, but it’s seemingly not slowing down from there, as it has partnered with CityFibre to boost the speed and efficiency of its roll out.

CityFibre has a national full fibre network, and Three is set to be the first company to leverage this to support its 5G roll out, as using CityFibre’s full fibre backhaul will greatly improve Three’s capacity to meet the growing demand for mobile data.

Having a fast, reliable backhaul is important for keeping speeds and reliability up for users, as this is how data travels across much of the network, before it finishes its journey wirelessly to and from your phone.

Dave Dyson, CEO of Three UK, said of the partnership:

“A competitive fibre backhaul market is critical for the fast and efficient rollout of 5G. CityFibre are aggressively rolling out fibre across Britain and our strategic partnership with them will use the UK’s largest 5G spectrum portfolio to deliver the fastest 5G network nationwide.”

So it sounds like this arrangement will both speed up Three’s 5G roll out, and improve the resulting network.

Kicking off this summer

The first phase of this partnership will involve CityFibre providing backhaul connectivity to Three’s cell sites. The first of these are set to go live this summer, but hundreds of sites will apparently be connected by the end of the year, across a range of UK cities.

And that’s just the start, with CityFibre being Three’s preferred provider of backhaul connectivity outside London, so expect its infrastructure to ultimately be used across much of Three’s network.

This, combined with Three’s massive 5G spectrum holding, is seemingly at the heart of its plan to provide faster 5G than any other UK network. Whether that will pan out remains to be seen, but regardless, this can only be good news for Three’s customers.

Sub-Editor at

James is sub-editor at both and TechRadar. Also works as a researcher/ technical writer for and several other websites including TechRadar, T3, Smart TV Radar, with work on the web, in print and on TV.

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