97% of Three's network traffic is data, not chat

1 November 2011

threeAre you on Three? What? Do you want a medal or something? Anyway, if you are, chances are you don't ever ring anyone. Ever.

Why? Well, the company has revealed that ninety-seven per cent of the traffic carried on their network is data.

Of course, this data carrying is something that Three have touted since they founded, and seeing as they offer bulkier data deals that other providers, it's hardly surprising, eh? Also, they flog a lot of USB modems which provide data.

They say: "Since June last year and September this year (just 14 months) we’ve seen a 427% increase in data usage on Three for smartphone customers. Downloading apps, streaming movies, getting around town with Google Maps, even checking in on Facebook – it all adds up, and you’re doing it now more than ever."

Now, who fancies telling them about the spectrum shortage that's been forecast?


TOPICS:   Technology   Mobile   Privacy


  • Alexis
    I don't know what I'm supposed to do with this information?
  • 3 P.
    Just a pity 97% of Three's customer service is shit.
  • PokeHerPete
    Don't you guys see? 97% is 3% off 100% 3, 3, 3.....3....THREE!!!1113 SPOOKY!
  • lumoruk
    spooky indeed pokeherpete, All I do is browse the web on my phone.
  • The B.
    Yeah, I read this on the register this morning too.
  • Wonky H.
    I fucking love foxes me.
  • person287
    Three's network is good, but if you have a problem just give up. They shut off a mast in my area meaning I couldn't get any signal, and I had to spend 15 hours on the phone to let me cancel the contract. Also when I went to the Putney store, near the train station to get a new SIM Card I phoned them up before and they said they had loads of ones. When I got there I got told ‘Sorry we don’t have any C20 SIM Cards. Why didn’t you mention that?’ So next week I phoned up again and asked if they had any C20 SIM Cards and again they said they had stock, but when I got there the same person that told me I had a C20 SIM Card the week before said that C20s don’t exist, just 1, 2, 3, 4s, and that the person must’ve been lying. When I told him that it was him he denied he’d spoken to me. When I phoned up CS in India they were actually very good and helpful, and the person said there was no way for me to know what number my SIM Card was, it’s just a random allocation to which server it was. To top that all off it took about 5 minutes to be served at the stop because the person told me to wait while they were playing on their phone. And no they weren’t doing anything important, I saw the screen, it was a game. Finally they also halved my data allowance without telling me and said that I was a liar and it was always like that, even they changed it after about 3 months on the contract. All in all, I think you can see why I'm not happy with Three!
  • tin
    What a great shame 3's network only covers about 50% of the land - contrary to what their coverage map would have you believe. Great data rates but fat chance of actually getting onto the network in the first place.
  • corbyboy
    No to sound a pedant here, but how is this quantified? 97% of what? The article says 97% of traffic, but what exactly is "traffic"? And presumably using Skype counts as "data" rather than "voice."
  • Jon
    Went to Three since they offered their AYCE offer (All You Can Eat) They barred my internet access within 6 hours for using 500Mb. Kept getting a Three Website despite entering other web addresses. I had 4 bars most of the time which dropped to "Searching..." for up to a few hours a day. I had missed calls and voicemails when even on Orange I had a low signal it still rang... Despite all the woes the Indian callcentre almost REFUSED to disconnect me (Supply PAC Code) so I dont know what they're playing at ??? Either you WANT me or you DONT..... Three is a great idea in principle but doesnt work in reality. I was in CPW and asked about unlimited data and NONE of them EVER mention Three. Seems they dont want to sell it round my way. Wonder WHY? perhaps no signal ???
  • Skymarshall
    Never had an issue with them. Always get decent signal (better than the workmates on O2), and internet is lightning fast - so much so that while my home internet was down, I was using my phone as an access point for my Xbox.
  • brendan
    I've been with Three for a few years now and never had any problems. Lighting fast 3G at home, work and most places I frequent. I was down in Devon last weekend and while my friends on o2, orange etc struggled to get signal, I was getting 3G. And their plans are reasonably priced - can't complain with 500mins/5000txt/unlimited data and 3to3 calls on an iPhone 4 for £33.
  • klingelton
    i had a 3 contract a few years ago. first off, they promised me internet access, but i could never get past their own pages (this is in the early days of 3) then the phone they sent me would regularly drop calls. i asked for it to be fixed to be told there was nothing wrong. i was then sent to a "3 repair shop" which told me they didn't actually repair phones for 3. finally i managed to get them to accept the thing back. They repaired it and returned. same problems. they finally agreed to replace the phone with a different one, which worked better. finally, they wouldn't accept my letter telling them i wanted to cancel my contract until my contract expired effectively tying me into a 19 month contract. i paid the 18th month and agreed with them that there should be no line rental for the 19th month. they agreed and that was that (so i thought) 4 years later - i received a letter from a debt collection agency asking me to pay up or face the concequences. I told them about the agreement, they reviewed my case and that was that. another 2 years down the line i received another phone call - same thing, different debt collectors. so im getting chased for a debt that never existed (or should never have existed) anyway. so all in all, 3 were a pain in the arse to deal with at every corner. those 18 months were the most miserable i've ever experienced in the 15 years or so i've owned a mobile phone, i will never go back to them. oh, and the reason only 3% of the usage is calls is because the calls drop out after 2 mins, so people have given up trying to use them!
  • tin
    Don't kid yourself that any of the others are any better....
  • Never A.
    Any of the others is considerably better than three. Shite signal, even worse customer service. The only thing they were competent at was helping themselves to large amounts of cash. I'd rather have a monetary relationship with a 419 spammer than Three.
  • brendan
    klingleton, so you're basing your opinion on an experience at least 7 years old? Times change and Three have improved significantly in this time. I've never had a call drop out and can easily get 3mbps download / 1.5mbps upload which is better than a lot of home broadband connections. Didn't Three top the list of greatest % 3G coverage recently?
  • M4RKM
    tin has it right. none of the other networks are any better. If bitterwallet posted something about O2, there would be people complaining that there is no signal, that calls drop, samef or Voda, and EverythingEverywhere. I know what people should do before signing up to a 2 year contract, is to get a PAYG sim card, and use the damn thing, in places where you will use your phone. Yes, it's a pain, but it is hell of a lot more reliable than those coverage maps. Orange always drop calls when I'm driving, so I now don't use orange. A colleague does, and his calls constantly drop when he's driving. I find it hilarious to be honest, as he blames the handset he uses, even though it is the network. Three in my local area are great. I consistently get 7MB plus in the office when tethered, and 3MB at home, where my home broadband is only a lowly 1.6MB. Three do have extensive 3g coverage, as they are a 3g network only. I've never seen my three phone drop to a GPRS, and have a NO SIGNAL a hell of a lot less than when I was with O2, or TalkMobile/Vodafone. Oh, and why doesn't carphonewarehouse push three's phones? because they probably get the least kick back, and the sales people earn the least commission on them. Duh! M

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