Three’s 4G network goes live – free 4G for all customers for six months

21 Jan 2014

Ireland's international football team captain Robbie Keane and Three's 4G ambassador kicks a ball with kids today as part of Three's 4G launch for 27 January

On 27 January, mobile operator Three will launch its 4G network, which will cover 60pc of the cities of Galway, Limerick and Waterford, and 40pc of the cities of Dublin and Cork at launch.

The mobile operator, which is currently attempting to acquire O2 Ireland for €850m, said both its billpay and prepay customers will receive 4G access for free until 31 July.

All existing customers with 4G-compatible phones will be able to experience 4G after a quick software update without having to change their tariff or SIM.

From 1 August, billpay customers can continue to receive 4G by purchasing a €4.99 per month add-on.

The 4G charges for prepay users will be revealed in the coming months, Three said.

4G coverage

Three, which has 99.5pc population coverage for voice and text and 97pc for 3G mobile broadband, said that at launch, 60pc of Galway, Limerick and Waterford will be covered by 4G and 40pc of Dublin and Cork will be covered by the next-generation service.

“As data consumption soars with today’s ‘always on’ mobile users, the introduction of 4G meets people’s need for speed, allowing Three customers do even more on their smartphones,” said Elaine Carey, chief commercial officer of Three.

Three has invested €800m so far to build its 4G network.

In October, Three appointed Korean technology giant Samsung to deploy its 4G network, which will be capable of speeds of up to 100Mbps.

Three, which is the main sponsor of the Irish international football team, appointed team captain Robbie Keane as its 4G ambassador.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years