Three UK has announced in a press release that its LTE upgrade, which is set to arrive later this year, will be added to existing and future plans with no upgrade fee. This means that consumers on supported plans will be able to take full advantage of improved network performance without forking out extra pennies (should you have a capable smartphone, of course).
Currently 4G is restricted in the UK to EE, but other mobile operators in the country are preparing to launch respective upgrades early 2013 once the doors have been opened up. The exclusivity to a single company has led to astonishingly priced plans being published for those who wish to hop onto the LTE train early.
What's more is Three states that all plans will be supported. All you'll need is a 4G Windows Phone and you're good to go. The mobile operator currently supports DC-HSDPA technology on its network and covers 55 percent of the UK. The company plans to reach 80 percent of the population by the end of March 2013, as well as incorporating 1800Mhz in the second half of the year.
So what happens when LTE arrives on Three? Will you need a new SIM, phone, plan? Not at all, only if you haven't got a 4G capable handset. The Lumia 920, Lumia 820 and HTC 8X are all available from Three - be sure to double check that it will be able to use the upcoming 4G upgrade when purchasing. No new SIM is required and your plan should sport the improvements once LTE has launched.
Three UK chief executive, Dave Dyson, had the following to comment on the improvements:
Perfect. Three is already preparing for the arrival of LTE, which will launch later this year. Good news all around. Thanks, Racxie, for the tip!
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.