Three has announced that it will upgrade its 4G network in Wales to cover 98 percent of the population by 2017.
The operator will use its 800MHz band to carry out the improvements, as the low-frequency properties make it ideally suited to providing coverage across a wide area.
Three said that the move will dramatically reduce coverage blackspots in Wales, and ensure that combined 3G and 4G coverage across the country reaches 99 percent.
Justin Bass, director of legal for marketing, consumer, regulatory and external affairs at Three, claimed that the move will be a major boost for customers in the region.
“Customers in Wales already benefit from Three’s 3G network which provides a high-quality and reliable experience to our customers,” he said.
“The addition of 4G on new low-frequency spectrum will further improve connectivity across Wales and, once complete, 98 percent of the Welsh population will enjoy an even better experience on our network.”
Three announced the project during a meeting with stakeholders including members of the Welsh Assembly and the Federation of Small Business Wales (FSBW).
FSB Wales senior head of External Affairs, Iestyn Davies welcomed the plans from Three.
“Smaller businesses use services in the same way as consumers and we would suggest that small businesses deserve the same level of service and protection as ordinary consumers when it comes to services such as telecoms," he said.
"Large businesses such as Three have an important role to play in providing an accessible and transparent service that meets the challenges faced by small business consumers here in Wales.”
The move comes amid pressure on mobile operators from the government to improve rural coverage across the UK, and a total of £5bn will be spent by the operators to ensure 2G coverage across 90 percent of the UK by 2017.
Three is also in the process of buying rival operator O2 for £10bn, which would create a three-player mobile market, something that the competition authorities may not want to happen.
In related news, the Competition Market Authority confirmed today that it will fast-track its scrutiny of the BT-EE deal to 'phase 2', after having been asked to do so by BT last month.
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