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Three’s network is growing at a massive rate – in every sense

Three has just delivered its half year results, and there’s a lot of interesting information within them, but the key takeaway is that from 5G coverage to customer numbers to data use, the network is growing at a rapid rate.

In terms of active contract customers, the network gained 494,000 in the first half of 2022, which is an increase of 6%, bringing it up to 8.2 million. That’s impressive in itself, but all the more so when you consider that that’s almost as many active customers as its competitors combined gained during the same period.

Three’s customers are using a huge amount of data too, with average data use per customer, per month rising to 21.3GB in June 2022. That’s a 24% year-over-year increase. That’s perhaps no surprise though because Three’s 5G network is also rapidly growing, with 56% of the UK population now covered across 3,300 sites – and customers with 5G are likely to use more data.

Some of this is stuff that we already knew, but it’s reiterated in the report as it happened this year. Other such things include being rated the UK’s fastest 5G network by Ookla for the third consecutive period, with median 5G download speeds of 292.57Mbps, becoming the first network in the world to offer VoLTE roaming, and continuing to improve its Three+ rewards app, leading to growth of more than 150% in app downloads.

There are other things too, like improved 4G coverage, which reaches 99% of the UK population outdoors, plus confirming plans to switch off its 3G network by the end of 2024, preparing to provide coverage on the London Underground, and boosting its B2B customer base by 134%.

Three hasn’t forgotten about the core customer experience amidst all this though, as it’s also seen complaints to Ofcom drop from 6 to just 2 per 100,000 customers, year-over-year. All that and the network is improving its sustainability and environmental credentials too, with a target to achieve net zero carbon emissions in its own operations by 2040.

Three looks to be in a stable position financially as well, with revenue being flat at £1.18 billion – the same as it reported in the first of 2021. So that’s one area of the company that hasn’t seen growth, but all the investments elsewhere are sure to pay off in the long run.


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