Mobile operator Three has added more meat onto the bones of its 4G roll-out strategy by signing an infrastructure deal with Samsung.
Three is the first mobile operator in Europe to use Samsung's LTE Radio Access Network (RAN) and 3G/LTE core infrastructure systems.
As part of the agreement Samsung will deploy LTE base stations, including all associated systems and network support services, across Three's UK-wide network. The system will be trialed by Three and Samsung this year, with full deployment and a commercial launch in 2013.
"Three's customers will start benefitting from this investment in our core network early next year and those benefits will grow further as we deploy new spectrum," said Dave Dyson, CEO of Three UK.Everything Everywhere, the merged operations of T-Mobile and Orange, has agreed to sell some of its existing spectrum to Three, which could be used for 4G connectivity.
After the spectrum purchase Dyson said, "Acquiring this spectrum will more thandouble the capacity available to customers on our network."
Regulator Ofcom this month approved Everything Everywhere's plan to use it's existing spectrum to launch its own first 4G services, much to the chagrin of rivals Vodafome and O2 who must first buy new spectrum in an auction to enable them to launch their own 4G services.