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Mobile operator Three boasts 1,100% boost in data traffic since 2010

Friday, March 18th 2016 by Ellen Branagh

The amount of data carried on the Three network has grown by more than 1,100% since 2010, the company has revealed.

The combination of an expanded 4G network and an "engaged customer base" has seen the average data usage per customer grow from 500MB at the end of 2010, to 3.3GB in 2014 and now 5GB, the company said.

Three, which is set to merge with fellow mobile operator O2, said it now carries 42% of the UK’s total data traffic. Total data traffic on the network has grown by more than 1,100% since 2010, according to the operator.

More than one million customers can make calls in more places after the introduction of 4G Super-Voice, Three said, with that number set to increase further as the rollout continues.

According to the provider, three million customers have enjoyed roaming at no extra cost with its Feel At Home service, with the average data usage per customer in Feel At Home countries increasing from 1.6GB in 2014 to 3GB in 2015.

Three has previously announced that its customers have saved £2.6bn in roaming charges since the introduction of Feel At Home.

Dave Dyson, chief executive of Three UK, said: "We continue to focus on delivering a quality customer experience and addressing the issues that frustrate consumers.

"We've worked hard to tackle high roaming charges and we're committed to building on our progress to improve indoor coverage."

The proposed merger of Three and O2 – which would create the UK’s biggest mobile network – is currently the subject of an in-depth investigation by the European Commission.

Earlier this week, research from Ofcom suggested that the cost of mobile phone contracts could increase by up to 20% if the merger goes ahead.

'Competing aggressively'

The regulator said Three acts as a disruptive firm in the UK by "competing aggressively and innovating", and its removal could lead to price rises of between 17.2% and 20.5%.

Ofcom CEO Sharon White has previously given a similar warning, saying competition between four providers is what gives UK consumers some of the lowest prices in Europe.

But last month Canning Fok, chairman of Three UK, pledged that a combined Three and O2 would not raise prices of "a voice minute, a text or a megabyte" for five years after a merger, should it go ahead.

Mr Fok, who is also group co-managing director of Three’s parent company CK Hutchison Holdings, said the combination of Three and O2 would be able to stand up to "the new Leviathon BT" and "the old top-of-the-heap predator Vodafone".

He said: "From the outset, we have followed the principle that as technology improves people should always get more and pay less for their mobile services.

"In short, over the next five years Three+O2’s customers will be getting more and paying less than they do today for mobile services and the wholesale market will also be better off."

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