3 UK CEO Dave Dyson has warned that the operator plans to use new 5G technology as an opportunity to be more aggressive with pricing, reports The Telegraph.
In an interview with the UK newspaper, Dyson said that the operator was starting to struggle to meet demand for data on 4G as it has a relatively small share of the relevant airwaves, and sees the increased capacity from 5G as a ‘massive enabler’ for the company. He stressed that the company’s 5G-network rollout strategy was not about ‘being first’, but more about rolling out the technology before data demand comes through.
The operator is set to sign a 5G equipment contract to upgrade its network across the UK in 1st-half 2019, offering new handsets and fixed wireless routers to customers from the second half of the year. Dyson said the 5G network rollout would focus on major, densely populated urban centers like London, Manchester and Birmingham. He added that the business case for rolling out 5G in smaller towns and rural areas was unproven as 40 percent of the company’s masts account for around 85 percent of total data demand on its network.
With regards to pricing, Dyson said he wasn’t looking to start a price war, but would have more flexibility to be aggressive with pricing as a result of increased capacity and lower cost per gigabyte. He added that the operator would keep network deployment costs down by using Massive MIMO smart antenna technology, which will allow it to cover the same area as its 4G network without having to install new masts.