3G – History

Hutchison 3G UK Limited, deliver third-generation mobile multimedia and communications services under the 3 brand in the UK; offering a convergence of media, information and telephony, to enable live video calls, multimedia content and entertainment while on the move.

3 services are available from sister companies in Australia, Austria, Italy and Sweden. 3 also hold UMTS licences in Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel and Norway.

In May 2000 the UK government awarded five licences to run third generation wireless services.

Hutchison 3G (now 3) acquired the largest of these licences at the lowest cost. This was set aside for a new entrant in order to increase competition in the market and included a guaranteed roaming agreement.

With the largest amount of spectrum they have a significant advantage in being able to deliver the most compelling range of multimedia services.

They are a young business with strong backers and an experienced management team and now employ over 1,700 people in offices throughout the UK.

They are creating a new type of multimedia communications company. Bringing together the best of mobile telephony, internet and media to create a new communications experience. This convergence allows them to offer you a combination of communication, information and entertainment.

This change in lifestyle is reflected in the growth of text messaging, the mass adoption of the internet and a shift in use from fixed to mobile communications.

Theirs is a pure 3G approach, everything from the organisation, services and network, has been designed and purpose built to deliver 3G.

With no legacy to distract them, their goal is to deliver the purest 3G.

Network Roll-out

3 UK, in December 2003, has successfully completed the build and integration of its 5,000th radio base station. These sites mean that 3 now has over 70% population coverage for it’s video mobile services in the UK, as well as over 98% voice coverage through it’s national roaming agreement.

The 3 network is fully operational. The quality of voice and messaging services is comparable to other networks and the network leads the industry in speed and quality of data transmission.

In conjunction with it’s partners, 3 has undertaken one of the fastest network rollouts in European telecoms history.

The speed and scale of the deployment of the radio network is unprecedented in the mobile industry, with up to 200 base stations being installed per week.

Facts about 3

  • 3 is a video mobile network - the first and only 'third generation' network to launch in the UK
  • 3 is the only network currently able to offer mobile technology's most unique application - person to person video calling
  • Using 3G technology, 3 has built a new network that offers customers a combination of access to cutting edge video mobile services and great value voice calls
  • The world’s first live 3G service was launched in Tokyo by NTT Docomo in 2001 – it’s 20% shareholder

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