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3 Mobile Review

The Three mobile phone service was launched in the UK on 3 March 2003. With a clever use of the number three which continues today, the date of launch was "3/3/3", and after "33" months of operations in the UK, they boasted "3" million 3G customers. To put this into into perspective, these subscriber figures totalled more than all the other UK mobile operators combined. UK mobile operators were tasked with certain roll out requirements for the new 3G service, Three met their license regulatory requirements regarding 3G "3" years ahead of schedule!

Three is best known in the UK for their memorable advertising campaigns, beginning with the 2007 slogan of "Welcome to our Network", right up to the latest branding of the "Changing Mobile Forever" slogan, which highlighted the availablity of free unlimited Skype-to-Skype calls to all Three customers. Three has come a long way from their humble beginnings in the UK. Beginning with two High Street stores based in London (although their phones and contracts were sold all over the UK via other retailers). They rapidly expanded their stores between 2005 and 2007, purchasing retail outlets from o2 and the Link. However they since reduced their numbers of concession stores down to just 20.

Mobile coverage in the UK for the Three network now stands at over 97.4%, thanks to the implementation of HSDPA in 2008 and a further £400 million upgrade in 2010. In addition, Three and T-Mobile (UK) have collaborated to form the largest ever 3G network sharing agreement. This has served to both reduce network costs and increase 3G network quality and coverage for both (along with hopefully accelerating the provision of new high-speed mobile broadband services across the UK). This combination of the mobile masts and infrastructure that form the 3G access networks for T-Mobile and Three has created Europe's most extensive HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) network. Furthermore, as mobile is expected to become the main means of accessing the internet in the near future, this integration of networks will assist both companies in the provision of blanket coverage of the UK population (especially in the more sparsely populated areas of the country) with high-speed mobile broadband and data services.

This high speed network has been built with future 4G technologies in mind. This is important to meet the ever-increasing demand for data due to the fact that 90% of Three customers are now choosing smartphones and often choose the unique "all-you-can-eat" data plans offered by the Three network. The unlimited data plans and transparent pricing structure allowed Three to get rated the No. 1 network for Smartphones by independent body YouGov in 2011.

While other networks seem to be creating mobile phone contracts designed to limit data use on smartphones, Three have focused on enabling their customers to get the most out of their mobile internet packages in their daily lives. The "One Plan" offers a substantial inclusive bundle of call minutes, texts and "all-you-can-eat" data, providing customers with peace of mind, good value and no billing surprises. Currently the "One Plan" offers 2000 minutes talk time (anytime on any network), 5000 texts per month, unlimited data,  5000 additionalminutes for "Three-to-Three" calls, free voicemail and even a free PAYG SIM card for a friend.

The Three retail outlets and internet store (branded 3Store) offer a wide range of products in addition to the pay monthly/pay as you go phones and sim cards from manufacturers such as Nokia, HTC, Sony Ericsson, INQ, Samsung, BlackBerry and LG. Other products include Mobile Broadband (again offered on a monthly or paya s you go pricing plan), Laptops, Mobile accessories, PC accessories (wireless mice, USB memory, printers, webcams etc) and MiFi plans (a WiFi dongle usng the latest HSPA technology to provide a portable Wi-Fi hotspot).

New customers to Three Mobile can keep their existing mobile number by simply informing their old network provider and requesting a PAC (port authorisation code). Then provide Three with the following information existing mobile number, new Three number and the name of your old network provider. Numbers should be transferred by the next working day and you will recieve a text to let you know when the number is moved.

Today Three is wholly owned by Hutchison Whampoa, an international corporation with a diverse array of worldwide holdings including the world's biggest port and of course telecommunication operations in 14 countries.



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