Three pledges not to charge extra for 4G

THREE, the UK’s fourth-biggest mobile network company, will not charge a premium for 4G services.

The company, which is set to launch a high-speed 4G service later this year, says it will offer the technology as standard rather than creating separate price plans for 4G and 3G services.

The move contrasts with the decision taken by the UK’s first 4G network, EE, which is charging customers roughly £5 a month more than for equivalent lower-speed contracts.

“We don’t want to limit ultrafast services to a select few based on a premium price and we’ve decided our customers will get this service as standard,” Three’s chief executive David Dyson said.

Three, owned by China’s Hutchinson Whampoa, does not yet have the necessary airwaves to run a 4G network.

It is buying a some 4G-approved spectrum from EE later this year, and is set to win more when an auction of the airwaves is finished in the next few weeks. However it is likely to end up with less of the 4G spectrum than its rivals EE, O2 and Vodafone, and will use 4G to top up its current 3G network.