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Three mobile broadband

Three overview

  • Wide range of packages including pay monthly contracts with 1GB, 5GB or 15GB data allowance
  • Free 4G mobile broadband
  • PAYG mobile broadband available with data included - ideal for gifts
  • Great range of laptop specs available with a mobile broadband month contract
  • If you're an existing Three Mobile customer, you get 25% off any 18 month mobile broadband package.
  • Free delivery and 14 day returns policy

Best selling Three mobile broadband deals

Three Broadband Genie Road Test results

Three Road test
Three logo
Downloads
rating - 5 stars5 stars
Uploads
rating - 4 stars4 stars
Streaming
rating - 4 stars3 stars
Reliability
rating - 5 stars5 stars
Feelgood factor
rating - 5 stars5 stars
Dongle software
rating - 3 stars3 stars
Overall rating
rating - 5 stars
5 / 5

July 2014

Broadband Genie Road Trip 2014 Winner

Three has delivered a consistently strong performance in previous Road Trips and continued that trend in 2014 by coming out on top in almost all areas for both 3G and 4G services.

The dongles tested in the 2014 Road Trip were the Huawei E3256, a 3G USB dongle with folding connector which allows the device to be angled for better reception, and a ZTE MF823 for 4G, again a USB model.

Three had the fastest speeds overall, excelling in both 3G and 4G performance. Average 3G speeds were 4.48Mb download and 1.4Mb upload, with 4G coming in at 6.19Mb up and 1.54Mb down. At best we recorded 19.53Mb download for 4G and 15.41Mb for 3G, the latter actually exceeding the top speeds for every other network and service except for Three’s own 4G.

Upload speeds were acceptable but less impressive. We recorded top speeds of 3.46Mb for 3G and 2.89Mb for 4G, which was good but didn’t hold out across the whole test leading to those unexciting average numbers.

Perhaps Three’s best achievement was that it was able to complete 90% of our tasks, demonstrating an ability to retain a connection through difficult conditions better than any other network. This was particularly useful for large file downloads and uploads and streaming media, where several other providers encountered great difficulty.

Its performance led to Three winning not just our overall Road Trip award for 2014, but also the awards for fastest mobile broadband, best coverage, best 3G and best 4G.

Detailed results of the Mobile Broadband Genie Road Trip 2014

by Matt Powell May 2013

Who are Three?

While Three mobile broadband may have been late to the party as far as mobile network operators are concerned (being the fifth and final one to gain a 3G licence), it has concentrated hard on trying to lead the pack in terms of 3G mobile broadband. So far, it has pretty much succeeded.

UK residents have been bombarded with everything from free Three mobile broadband dongles and MiFi units to aggressive pricing campaigns. Over the past few years it has pulled back on some of its customer service problems too, while its network has gone from also-ran to contender.

Launched as a brand of the Hong Kong-based Hutchinson Whampoa Corporation, 3 UK's mobile network arrived in 2003. The company launched its mobile broadband in August 2007, undercutting its rivals, while its pay as you go version followed in December of the same year. 3 became the first mobile broadband operator to launch 'free' laptop deals in July 2008 and it now offers mobile internet contracts from less than £10 per month. It was also the first to market with mobile Wi-Fi dongles, which it has dubbed MiFi.

In 2008, 3 signed an agreement with rival network T-Mobile to combine their 3G access networks: at the time the biggest agreement of its type (it has since been trumped by a similar deal between Vodafone and O2). In 2011 Three began to offer truly unlimited mobile broadband to its smartphone customers, while also offering the biggest range of mobile broadband deals on dongles, MiFis and laptops in terms of data allowances.

In 2014, Three activated its 4G network in selected cities across the UK, with plans for 98% coverage by 2015. In contrast to other networks Three does not charge extra for 4G, so if you have a 4G capable device on Three you can enjoy these faster speeds right away without any additional outlay.

Three customer reviews

Show all 706 Three Mobile Broadband reviews»

  • unhappy

    by Sparkster at 19:00 on 24 Mar 2015

    Three mobile internet has become completely and utterly useless and virtually pointless in having. I cannot even get 300Kb/s download speed, even at the fastest times of day/night, yet upload speeds are twenty times higher! It takes forever just to even load the Google home page (and that's when it works). Three mobile internet has been consistently going downhill for the last six months and I have had enough and am now looking for an alternative. Three mobile internet is massively unreliable. Not only that but when I need to get internet for work, they won't allow top-ups half the time because they claim to be "improving the service in your area"! What an absolute joke. Don't waste your money on this useless rubbish.

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  • neutral

    by Colin Lewis at 22:44 on 15 Mar 2015

    Trying to cancel my dongle dealing with india.has been awful @ distressing to say the least..all the keep doing is sending me bills!! They are not helpful at all,,and can be unhelpful and rude!!

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  • happy

    by Peter at 13:29 on 24 Feb 2015

    They knocked me a £1 a month off my broadband for loyalty. That's a free month ayear almost - not complaining.

    Pete

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  • unhappy

    by nick at 16:57 on 23 Feb 2015

    No concept of customer loyalty and to be told I have no concept of business. I merely explained don't spend 24 months c calling me with offers when at renewal time you have nothing to offer my loyalty!

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