Belfast Telegraph

Coverage and uptake improves for Three

By Clare Weir

A mobile phone company says it has doubled the number of sites in its Northern Ireland network since 2012, boosting its coverage by 20%.

Three claims that since a three-year £12.7m upgrade project began, it has seen a six-fold increase in data usage and added that call minutes have tripled on its Northern Irish network.

The investment will continue, with Three introducing the latest 4G coverage to its network in Northern Ireland this month, with the initial rollout to be focussed on Belfast.

4G will be added to other parts of the country in 2015, including Londonderry.

The company has already introduced advanced 3G technology across the network.

Bryn Jones, Three's chief technology officer, said that customers will not have to swap SIM cards or change their tariffs to access the new 4G technology, as long as their handsets are up to date.

"We have invested heavily in our network to provide exceptional coverage and a quality experience in Northern Ireland," he said.

"Our customers will be able to enjoy better and faster mobile internet with the addition of new sites and the latest 3G technology.

"We will continue to invest in and improve the network to make sure customers get the best experience."

Last year Three addressed roaming costs by allowing customers to use the internet and call and text Northern Irish numbers over Irish networks at no extra cost, addressing both accidental and intentional roaming.

Chris Lloyd, Three's area manager for Northern Ireland, added: "With the massive expansion of network coverage we've seen sales rise by 28%.

"With our addressing of the problems of inadvertent border roaming our Northern Ireland customers have made us the top performing region of the UK for growth."

A race between mobile providers to outperform their competitors could see better network coverage for customers throughout the UK, a recent report has suggested.

£12.7m

The amount Three has invested on the network here since 2012

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