Three has announced it will launch 4G (at no extra cost) in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Reading this month.
Before the end of the year the service, which offers mobile broadband speeds up to six times faster than 3G, will also come to Oldham, Dudley, West Bromwich, and Wolverhampton.
Three has also listed 42 cities that will get 4G in 2014: Aberdeen, Blackpool, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Dundee, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Gloucester, Huddersfield, Ipswich, Kingston Upon Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Milton Keynes, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Sheffiled, Slough, Southampton, Southend on Sea, Stoke on Trent, Stockport, Swindon, Watford, and York.
It is aiming for 98 per cent population coverage by the end of 2015. EE are aiming for the same figure by 2014, while O2 and Vodafone expect to have 98 per cent population coverage early 2015.
Once Three’s 4G is switch on, customers will receive a text message informing them that they are now on a 4G tariff (which will be the same as their 3G one).
Three has said that the first ‘batch’ of customers to switch to 4G will have to change their SIM card, but that the majority of customers will not have to do anything except check they have the right software.
All eight million Three customers will be switched to a 4G tariff by April 2014 at no extra cost to them, making it easier to upgrade and encouraging the move to the superfast broadband service.
By this point about 1.5 million will already have a 4G enabled phone, Three said.