Three to bring 4G to 50 towns and cities by the end of 2014

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Mobile operator Three has set out plans to rollout its 4G network to 50 UK towns and cities by the end of 2014.

The smallest of the UK's operators will be the last to launch a 4G network in the country, with the rollout set to begin in London, Manchester, Reading and Birmingham. These four cities should have Three's 4G network up and running by the end of this year.

The Birmingham launch will include Dudley, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton, while Manchester's network extends to Oldham.

Another 42 are then planned to go live by the end of 2014, which the network predicts should ensure it has coverage of 98 per cent of the UK by the end of 2015.

The 42 towns and cities are: Aberdeen, Blackpool, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Dundee, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Gloucester, Huddersfield, Ipswich, Kingston Upon Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Milton Keynes, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Sheffield, Slough, Southampton, Southend On Sea, Stoke On Trent, Stockport, Swindon, Watford and York.

The mobile operator is lagging slightly behind its rivals in the 4G network stakes.

EE launched its 4G network last year, which now reportedly covers 55 per cent of the population. Both O2 and Vodafone launched their 4G networks in August this year.

While Three might be late to the party, it has stolen a march on its rivals in terms of pricing. The operator promised subscribers that it will offer 4G as standard on all its price plans, meaning they will have the next generation technology at no extra cost.

It said the upgrade will take place when customers install a software update on their smartphones. As long as the device supports 4G, it will have access to the mobile operator's superfast network.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.