Virgin Media is to provide faster mobile broadband and more bandwidth for mobile broadband provided by Orange, T-Mobile & Three in a £100m 8 year deal announced yesterday.
The deal between Virgin Media Business and Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL) will provide the UK’s first synchronous Ethernet mobile backhaul service which will mean customers who are with the previously mentioned mobile broadband providers will get access to faster mobile data with greater capacity.
MBNL is made up of Everything Everywhere (which itself was created when T-Mobile & Orange joined back in 2007) and Three Mobile UK and it is a 50/50 split between them.
As part of the £100m deal, Virgin Media will set up 14 regional aggregation networks which will be used to connect the base stations located around the country to Virgin’s fibre services.
Virgin’s network will offer good foundations for the roll-out of 4G and LTE services with it’s synchronous Gigabit Ethernet service and it will be able to future proof itself going forward as it will be able to scale up it’s offering as and when demand requires it to.
Neil Berkett, Virgin Media’s Chief Executive, said:
“Being connected all the time to social networks, the internet and their favourite apps is very much a basic expectation which operators need to deliver on. Investing now means they’ll be able to deal with the escalating data demands of today and tomorrow.”
Previously BT was the main mobile backhaul provider and it will come as a huge blow to them that 3 of the UK’s largest mobile broadband brands will now be using Virgin Media’s fibre network as apposed to their own.
“Human Hotspots” are to hit the streets over the next few weeks in various UK locations as part of an advertising campaign by 3 Mobile.
The “Human Hotspots” will be offering free access to mobile Wi-Fi, also known as MiFi. The 3 Mobile MiFi connection will be available to people who are in an area where one of the “Human Hotspots” are located. They should be relatively easy to spot as they will be dressed all in white (although with snow forecast towards the end of the week then maybe they won’t be so easy to spot).
What MiFi does is share out a wireless internet connection through a battery powered wireless portable router which then allows other internet enabled devices to connect to it, such as laptops or smartphones.
Matthew Halfin from Three Mobile said:
“People are now using mobile internet as part of their everyday lifestyle, and we think it’s important that we’re able to support our customers by providing them with reliable and fast connectivity for wherever they want to go online.
“Three’s 3G network was designed for the mobile internet, so we can give people the very best online experience with their mobile gadgets. This will be particularly important over the Christmas period as a third of people head online with their new mobile toys.“
The reason 3 are launching this latest campaign is because they did a survey and found that people are in need of reliable and strong 3G connections which is what they feel the 3 MiFi device is able to offer customers.
The top 10 places that 3 Mobile’s research said people use their mobile gadgets were as follows:
- In the living room – 72%
- In the bedroom – 48%
- At Work – 29%
- On public transport – 24%
- On the toilet – 14%
- Walking – 14%
- In the bathroom – 12%
- In the garden – 11%
- At a bar/club – 9%
- While shopping – 8%
The Human Hotpsots will be in the following locations over the coming weeks:
London (Friday Nov 19), Cardiff (Friday Nov 26), Bristol (Saturday Nov 27), Nottingham (Saturday Dec 4) and Newcastle (Saturday Dec 11).
Three Mobile has completed it’s £400 million three year long network upgrade which will see them have 12,400 3G sites.
The upgrade and increased coverage programme done by Three Mobile brings the company up to 12,400 3G sites which has a 3G population coverage across the UK of 97%.
Three already had the largest UK 3G network and over the course of the last 3 years the network has done 2 things, first it has improved the coverage for areas that cover 4million people and also it has added 50,000 square-Km of coverage, this equates to an area that is twice the size of Wales.
With Smartphone use dramatically increasing and there even more demand for mobile broadband the improved and extended network should give customers a much greater level of connection.
The CEO of Three, Kevin Russell said:
“Thousands of people across the country have put in a phenomenal amount of work to build the UK’s biggest Mobile Broadband network. Smartphone and Mobile Broadband use is exploding and we have built a 3G network that reaches further than ever before, as well as bringing more capacity into urban areas where our customers need it most.“
Three have provided a few interesting points about their upgrade which include that it took 8.5 million man hours of work, there were more than 3,300 engineers involved, 10,000 transmission cable and microwave upgrades were done in the past 12 months and 8 engineers were attacked by birds!
Three network carries over 100 terabytes of data each day, with more than 40% of this from people streaming videos from sites such as Youtube or on the iPlayer, 38% is done from web browsing with a large 6% taken by Microsoft software being updated, messaging through applications such as Skype and MSN takes up a further 2.5% of the usage.
Three have launched a new Pay Per Day mobile broadband internet access deal for those who only need mobile broadband access every now and then.
The Pay Per Day mobile broadband deal costs £2 and gives users 24 hours mobile broadband access with 500Mb of data transfer.
The top up does not have an expiry other than 24 hours after it is activated. Also, top up vouchers of £10 would give 5 individual days credit which can be used as and when they are required. The top up vouchers or credit can be purchased online or in shops.
Joe Parker, the director of Three mobile Broadband said:
“Three’s Pay Per Day deal is the ideal proposition for business travellers, iPad owners and students who have a fixed broadband connection at home but also want the flexibility of being able to snack on mobile broadband whilst away from their home.“
500Mb of data transfer is enough for around 5 hours browsing the internet, 500 emails or downloading 16 music tracks.
3 Mobile has topped a YouGov study to bmobile broadbande voted the best mobile broadband provider in the UK.
There were 12 categories that were looked at in the study, with 3 Mobile broadband topping 10 of them, including value for money and reliability amongst others.
The study was done using more than 2,000 UK mobile broadband users from Three, Vodafone, Orange, O2, and T-Mobile to rate their mobile broadband provider on 12 key points.
The 12 key points that customers were asked on were:
Installation of software
Reliability during the day
Reliability during the evening
Ease of use
Three have the largest share of the UK mobile broadband market with around 35% and have coverage to more than 95% of the population.
Three mobile broadband has had it’s prices cut to offer the cheapest mobile broadband deals in the UK.
The entry level mobile broadband deal from Three has been reduced from £10 per month down to £7.50 per month, this includes 1Gb of data use per month and is available on either an 18 or 24 month contract and also comes with a free USB modem.
The same deal is also available but with a MiFi (Mobile WiFi device) for a cost of just £9.50 per month.
Any usage over the 1GB limit is charged at 10p per MB, so it is worth making sure that 1GB is sufficient!
The price of Three MiFi (mobile WiFi) has been cut making it cheaper.
MiFi is basically a wireless router that creates a WiFi connection by using a mobile broadband connection.
The cost of Three MiFi has been reduced, with the 3GB MiFi Ready to Go kit deal making the initial cost being reduced from £99.99 to £69.99 and includes 3GB of data transfer to use over 3 months, the 5GB MiFi 1 month deal has being reduced from £69.99 to £49.99.
Three have also added a MiFi Pay as you Go deal with the MiFi device costing £49.99.
Visit www.three.co.uk to sign up for Three MiFi
3 Mobile have announced the details about it’s new mobile Wi-Fi service that is has named MiFi. It is designed to help make connecting to 3 Mobile broadband easier.
The MiFi is a wireless modem that is battery operated and is able to create a Wi-Fi connection when the modem is able to connect to the 3 Mobile network. All it needs is a 3 Mobile sim card to be inserted and then the modem to be turned on, it will then automatically create your own Wi-Fi connection that can connect multiple devices at the same time and you will be able to connect to with a range of devices such as a laptop, mobile or iPod.
The Three MiFi is available to buy online from Thursday 17th September at www.three.co.uk or in 3 Stores across the country from Friday 18th September and is available to customers in 2 options:
1 month contracts at £15 per month with 5Gb data transfer, the MiFi modem will cost a one off fee of £69.99.
There is another alternative for customers, they can buy the Ready to Go kit that comes with the MiFi modem and 3GB data that is available to be used over a 3 month period, this costs £99.99. After the 3 months is up the MiFi can be used on a pay as you go basis.
To sign up for Three MiFi visit www.three.co.uk and click on the Mobile Broadband link and then the MiFi tab.
3 have launched three more mobile broadband and laptop deals to add to the ones they already have on offer.
The 3 new laptops added are the Acer 751 notebook, Samsung NC10 netbook and the Samsung R519. All 3 come on an 18 month contract and include a free USB dongle modem.
The Acer 751 specification:
- Intel Atom Z520 (1.33 GHz)
- 11.6″ WXGA TFT LED
- Microsoft Windows XP Home
- 1GB RAM
- 160GB hard drive
- Ultra thin – under 1″
- Available from £35 per month
The Samsung NC10 specifictaion:
- Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz
- 10″ WSVGA SuperBright© Gloss LED
- Microsoft Windows XP Home
- 1GB RAM
- 160GB hard drive
- Extended battery life – 6 cell battery
- Available from £30 per month
Samsung R519 specification:
- Pentium Dual Core T340 (2.16GHz)
- 15.6″ LCD HD
- Microsoft Windows XP Home
- 2GB RAM
- 250GB hard drive
- Intel GMA X4500M DVMT graphics
- Available from £35 per month
To view the full range of 3 Mobile broadband laptop deals click on www.three.co.uk/laptops
Mobile broadband roaming charges have always been pricey so Three have reduced their roaming charges for mobile broadband down to £1.25 per MB making them the cheapest for roaming charges of the UK mobile broadband operators.
The new rates come in effect from today and makes Three mobile broadband 25p per MB cheaper that T-Mobile who are their closest priced rival. Virgin Mobile charge a staggering £5 per MB according to Three.
The full comparison of roaming charges when abroad as compiled by Three is below and is correct at the time it was put together.
The new prices are not a short term offer for the summer months but are going to be available throughout the year in all EU roaming territories.
The EU has announced a wholesale cap on the charges that other providers can charge each other in the 27 EU member states, making a cap of 1 Euro (around 85p at today’s rate) per MB. This is designed to help try and keep roaming charges down amongst the mobile providers.
It is likely now that we will see the other mobile broadband providers also reducing their rates now these new EU roaming charge caps have been introduced.