Three UK’s move to upgrade its network to 4G won’t be enough to match growing data consumption, a director at fiber firm Interoute warns.
The carrier last week signed up Samsung to supply LTE RAN and 3G/4G core infrastructure, in what is the South Korean firm’s first commercial mobile network deal in Europe. The carrier cleared the way for the upgrade a fortnight ago when it acquired two 15-MHz blocks of 1800-MHz spectrum from Everything Everywhere – a sale regulator Ofcom made a condition of its decision to allow the latter operator to refarm the spectrum for 4G services.
However, Interoute UK director Lee Myall says Three’s upgrade will not be enough to meet growing mobile data demand without some form of offload strategy.
“Wi-Fi hotspots will be the key to taking the pressure off 4G,” he states, adding that offloading data “wherever possible is a responsibility for the whole industry to share.”
Myall says carriers risk putting “4G on a back foot,” if they don’t offload mobile data.
Three UK chief executive, Dave Dyson, says the firm will begin trials of the Samsung network this year, and is aiming to launch commercial services in 2013. He says the consumer benefits of the network will increase “as we deploy new spectrum,” – presumably that acquired from Everything Everywhere.