Three teams with Colt for 20 times more backhaul capacity

8 October 2020

5G backhaul

Backhaul is the backbone of a network and it’s one that Three is in the process of strengthening, most recently through a new agreement with Colt Technology Services, which will see the latter become a preferred provider of fibre backhaul connectivity to Three.

The network claims that Colt’s technology will provide 20 times more backhaul capacity on the sites where it’s being deployed, which is a huge boost, especially to 5G.

It’s an upgrade which Three promises will allow for a “faster, better and more reliable experience” for customers, and that’s believable – backhaul is where data travels through a network before completing the last stretch wirelessly, so if there’s not enough capacity then its travel can be disrupted, making for a slower, less reliable experience, even with a 5G connection.

And with the increasing data demands 5G is likely to drive, it’s all the more essential that Three’s backhaul is up to scratch.

Susan Buttsworth, Chief Operating Officer at Three UK said: “We are investing significantly to transform our entire network experience, which will support our customers who use three times more data than the average UK consumer. Fibre backhaul is a vital part of a reliable network experience and our partnership with Colt will mean better connectivity for our customers across the UK.”

A trio of providers

This new deal is just the latest in a number of similar ones Three has signed. It’s also for example getting CityFibre and Virgin Media to provide fibre backhaul to parts of its network.

This is all part of an end to end network transformation that Three is working on, which involves a £2 billion+ investment and will – the network claims – lead to it delivering the UK’s fastest 5G. That’s a big promise, but one that’s not without merit, as Three also currently has three times as much 5G spectrum as its nearest competitor.

Of course, the UK’s other networks are also striving to deliver the best 5G service possible, and recent network tests suggest EE is probably in the lead right now. So it will be interesting to see whether Three’s various upgrade works can help close that gap.

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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