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Hutchison 3G

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Hutchison 3G

A brand of CK Hutchison Holdings
Industry Mobile telecommunications, Broadband internet access
Founded 2000
Headquarters Hong Kong
Area served
Hong Kong, Australia, Austria, Denmark, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Macau, Sweden, United Kingdom
Key people
Canning Fok
Parent CK Hutchison Holdings
Hutchison Asia Telecommunications
Slogan It's Good to be 3
Website .com.threewww
(Local websites are also accessible)

3 is a brand name under which several UMTS-based mobile phone networks and Broadband Internet Providers are operated in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The company was founded in 2002.

CK Hutchison Holdings (formerly Hutchison Whampoa) owns direct majority interests in the companies that operate the networks that are branded 3, except 3 Hong Kong and 3 Indonesia. These networks are majority-owned by Hutchison Asia Telecommunications, a wholly owned subsidiary of CK Hutchison. Its operations in Europe are run by a separate division, 3 Group Europe.

All 3-branded networks provide 3G technology (WCDMA, some also run 2G and 4G networks). Hutchison Whampoa no longer holds a 3G licence in Israel which was operated under the brand Orange, and in Norway which is not operational yet.[1] As of 31 December 2012, registered 3 customers worldwide numbered over 23.5 million.[2]


Internet access

Like other mobile-provider Internet homepages, 3's portal is 'free to browse' for some content in most 3 countries including Ireland, UK and Australia in most price plans; the user pays a fixed price for each video, text or application downloaded.

Besides that, 3 UK and also 3 Ireland initially made the decision to block direct Internet access from handsets, while 3 Austria allowed access to the Internet since the beginning.

In 2004, 3 released a PC Card 3G Data Card ("NetConnect Card") for Windows-based laptops which allows Internet access through 3's network directly from the computer, accompanied by a range of data and business tariffs. Later, more cards and USB modems for HSDPA were introduced.

3 Skypephones and Skype on 3

In November 2007, 3 started to sell the Skypephone, which was developed in conjunction with the Chinese phone manufacturer Amoi and Skype, combining the functionality of a UMTS handset with free voice calls and instant messages from Skype. The phones were sold exclusively by 3 on contract and on a prepaid basis.

3 also produced an application called "Skype on 3" which brought the same functionality to S60 and J2ME-capable phones (but not iPhone or Android, although some unofficial Android versions were distributed[3]). Unlike the non-3 versions of mobile Skype, "Skype on 3" does not use the phone's data connection for voice calls, but instead places a normal phone call to a special number which 3 make available for this service.[4] 3 does not charge users for calls to this number.[5] This service is available in Australia, Ireland and the UK; it has been discontinued in Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy and Sweden.[6] A company called iSkoot (now Qualcomm iSkoot Inc.) was behind at least some of the clients and back-end servers[7] but iSkoot announced a shutdown scheduled for 20 January 2011.[8] It appears this shutdown initially affected the J2ME version and some Skypephones (which now show a "click to upgrade" link which either doesn't function or takes you to a page saying an upgrade is not available), but some S60 versions were not affected.[9] Skype have started sending emails indicating the Skype on 3 service will be terminated on 30 September 2014, in spite of Three's original "free for life" advertising. The recommended clients for smartphones will use the phone's data connection which may be liable to charges, instead of the dedicated access number used by the client, which was free to call.

Feel at Home

In February 2007 3 introduced '3 Like Home': a service that in theory allows subscribers to use any 3-branded network with the exception of 3 Indonesia without having to pay additional roaming charges, instead paying the same amount for voice, data, and messaging services as they would do on their home network. This also allows users to use their free or inclusive bundles and allowances while abroad. However, pre-pay customers do not benefit fully, as they can not yet use each 3 branded network for '3 Like Home'.

3 Australia confirm that calls made using '3 Like Home' are not included in any "cap" plan or inclusive bundles.

This arrangement is possible because of the roaming agreements between the networks. Each of the networks provides service to other partners networks free of internal roaming charges. This means that the marginal cost of a roaming call is much the same as a call on the home network.

At the end of April 2009, 3 UK announced that '3 Like Home' would no longer be available to customers of the 3 UK network from 30 June 2009. On 7 April 2010, 3 Sweden announced that '3 Like Home' would be discontinued on 23 May 2010. No cancellation announcements have yet been made for customers of other 3 networks.

On 19 August 2013, 3 Austria announced at a press conference that '3 Like Home' would no longer be available for new customers, following their acquisition of Orange Austria. Existing plans are unaffected.[10]

On 30 August 2013, 3 UK launched "Feel At Home" for UK customers visiting Australia, Italy, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Hong Kong and Ireland, where calls, texts and data are charged at their standard UK rate.[11]

On 4 December 2013, 3 UK added Indonesia, Macau, Sri Lanka and the USA to the list of countries included in its "Feel At Home" package.[12]

On 1 July 2014, 3 UK added France, Finland, Israel, Norway and Switzerland to the list of countries included in its "Feel At Home" package.[13]

On 22 September 2014, 3 UK added France, Norway and Switzerland to its '3LikeHome' list.[14]

On 1 April 2015, 3 UK added New Zealand and Spain to the list of countries included in its "Feel At Home" package.[15]



Hutchison launched the Three network in Australia in 2003, via its majority ownership of Hutchison Telecom Australia Ltd (HTAL). It operated a 2,100 MHz 3G network in a 50/50 partnership with Telstra[16] (the radio networks were shared while the core networks were separate), covering approximately 56% of Australia's population. The 3G network covered Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, the Gold Coast, Canberra, Geelong, Frankston and Wollongong.

On 9 February 2009, HTAL and Vodafone announced that they would be merging their Australian operations into a 50-50 joint venture called VHA Pty Ltd. All products and services offered by VHA would be marketed under the Vodafone brand.[17] The merger was approved by shareholders and regulators on 29 May 2009,[18] and Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd was established in June 2009.[19] The Three and Vodafone networks remained separate until August 2009. Vodafone phased out the Three brand from late 2011 onwards.[20] No new registrations to the Three brand were made after this time.[20][21]

Hutchison formerly operated an Australian CDMA network under the Orange brand name, as Orange One. It allowed customers to use their 3 Branded CDMA mobile phone as a Home phone when at home. Calls made from their mobile were charged at rates similar to those of a Landline. Customers also received a "Local Zone " number allowing them to be called on a Landline number whilst at home. Should the phone be out of the Local zone, Calls made to the landline number either diverted to the Mobile number at a small fee, or was directed to Voicemail on the mobile handset. These plans started at a very competitive price of $10.00 per month, and local calls from the local Zone to a local landline was charged at 20c per local call, making their service cheaper than those of Telstra or Optus. The Orange One network was not as vast as others, and so Orange made arrangements with Telstra to allow the services of Orange one devices to roam to the Telstra network On 1 February 2006, it was rebranded as 3 CDMA, and this network was closed as of 9 August 2006. 3 CDMA customers were offered special tariffs and incentives to continue as customers on the 3G network, all customers either moved over to 3's 3G network or to other network providers.

Vodafone Hutchison Australia is owned by:

  • Vodafone: 50% - as of July 2009
  • Hutchison Telecoms Australia Ltd (HTAL) - 50%. HTAL is owned by:
    • Hutchison Whampoa: 52.03% - as of 16th 9 March [22]
    • Public shareholders: 26.84%
    • Spark New Zealand: 10% (with an option for a further 9.94%)
    • Leanrose Pty Limited: 11.13%

Hong Kong

An advertisement for 3 in which Leon Lai, a Hong Kong-based Cantopop singer, is the pinup.
In May 2004, its affiliated 2G operator Orange re-branded its services and changed its name to "3 Dualband", referring to the GSM product, and "3 CDMA", referring to the CDMA product.

On 29 May 2008, Hutchison Telecommunications (Hong Kong) Limited announced that it has signed an agreement with Apple Inc. to bring the iPhone to Hong Kong and Macau later that year under 3.[23] In 2012, a partnership with Vodafone was launched and 3 Hong Kong is a member of the Conexus Mobile Alliance.[24]



The 3 service was launched commercially in Indonesia on 30 March 2007, with the company name is Hutchison Charoen Pokphand Telecommunications (HCPT). Only after 9 months of operations, 3 acquired about 2.2 million GSM customers. 3 achieved high customer mindshare maintaining at about 90% of awareness level as of April 2009.[25]

As of April 2009, 3 Indonesia had about 4.5 million customers on its GSM network. 3 offers both pre-paid and post-paid (contract) services. Currently, the post-paid service is available in Jakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya area.

3 Indonesia slogan is "Jaringan GSM-mu (Your GSM Network)", formerly "Jaringan Selularmu (Your Cellular Network)". Sometimes, 3 use "Mau? (Want it?)" and "Hanya di 3 (Only on 3)" slogan in their ads.

3 currently has full GSM coverage in Java, Sumatera, Bali, Lombok, and Riau Islands. And as of April 2009, Kalimantan is covered in South Kalimantan and Sulawesi is covered in South Sulawesi. The 3 UMTS/HSDPA service is now available in most parts of Java, especially big cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung.[26]

3 Indonesia launched its new unlimited text and MMS service for a fee with Facebook on 8 April 2009, so registered 3 customers can update status, write on wall, or upload new pictures freely without any more charges. Beside with Facebook, 3 also cooperated with Yahoo! to give unlimited chat for a fee by SMS and downloadable app using Yahoo! Messenger service. Both of these are the first of their kind in Indonesia.

It is announced that Charoen Pokphand divested its telecommunication business in Indonesia by sale of its share on 3 to Garibaldi Thohir and Northstar Group.[27] The company name is now PT. Hutchison 3 Indonesia.


  • HTIL: 65%
  • Gabrialdi Thohir: 35%

3 Group Europe


Three Austria started operations in May 2003. The company promised to have 95% population coverage with HSDPA end of 2007. By 2008, 3's 3G coverage reached 94% of the population.[28] Outside the coverage of its own 3G-network ([40]

Denmark and Sweden

3 Denmark and 3 Sweden have a common network covering most of the two countries. Customers are "at home" on both networks, i.e. Danish customer receive calls from Denmark without paying roaming fees when they are on 3 Sweden's network and it does not cost extra to call Danish telephone numbers. 3 Scandinavia also has a license to build a network in Norway (in 2011 3 declared that they are not going to launch a 3G network in Norway), but currently 3 Denmark and 3 Sweden have to have positive financials. In 2008 both operations showed a positive EBITDA. In Sweden the mobile network is shared with Telenor, except for cities like Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo, Lund and Karlskrona where they handle their own 3G networks, but this practise is not allowed in Denmark. In the spring 2011 3 started, without Telenor, to build their own 3G Network on the UMTS 900-band which will give a bigger coverage. UMTS 900 and LTE 800 is rolled out using the same base stations. 3 Sweden is the only operator in Sweden that have the licence to build 3G at the UMTS900 band. Today 3 Sweden covers about 98.5% of the Swedish population. In May 2012, 3 Sweden launched it first LTE services. It uses the TDD2600, FDD2600 and FDD800 bands. According to ZTE, this is the world's first multi-technics LTE network. Each day about two new sites are started. In the beginning of 2014, 3 Sweden was Sweden's fastest growing mobile operator.



3 Store, Grafton Street, Dublin, Ireland

3 has a licence for operation in Ireland using the access code 083 (although numbers can be ported over from other networks.) The service was launched on 26 July 2005 as Ireland's fourth mobile network operator behind Vodafone, O2 and Meteor. 3's coverage is made up of a single 2,100 MHz band UMTS network, with claims of 96% population coverage and 500,000 subscribers.[41] A roaming agreement with Vodafone provides GSM coverage where no UMTS signal is available. Service was initially offered as post-paid only, but on 16 May 2006 the introduction of a pre-paid service, known as 3Pay, was announced. A pre-paid mobile broadband service was launched on 29 February 2008 under the name 3Pay Broadband, with vouchers available for durations of one day, one week, or one month. On 13 May 2010, 3 Ireland announced the launch of the world's first commercial voice and data I-HSPA network. The company operates 28 "3Stores" throughout Ireland, with plans to have 50 by the end of 2010.[41] In July 2012, 3 Ireland announced a strategic partnership with Vodafone Ireland to share network infrastructure. This will facilitate rapid rollout of 3 Ireland's 4G network, while also making it less costly.[42] When a 3 user is using 2G or Edge connection, they are using Vodafone's 2G network, as 3 are a 3G/HSDPA network only.[43] In November 2012 it was awarded LTE spectrum by auction, along with the three other incumbent network operators.[44] On 24 June 2013, it was announced that Hutchison would acquire Telefónica's Irish mobile operations, O2 for €780 million, to be merged into 3 Ireland upon completion of the deal.[45][46][47] As of 2014, The European Commission has agreed to the go ahead of the merge. On 27 January 2014, Three launched their 4G network in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Wexford and Waterford.[48] In March 2014, Three.expanded their 4G coverage to Ashbourne, Bray, Carlow, Dunmore East, Kilkenny, Leixlip, Lusk, Rush, Skerries, Swords and Tullamore. As of October 2015 Three Ireland now has a total of over 2 million subscribers after merging with O2 Ireland


In Italy, 3 was formerly known as Andala 3G SpA,[49] a company founded in November 1999 and controlled by Sardinian internet company Tiscali and Franco Bernabè. It was the first mobile operator to offer 3G services (UMTS), launched in March 2003. As of March 2010, 3 Italia had 9 million registered customers. 3 Italy is the largest company in the 3-group measured in number of subscribers. It has a roaming agreement with TIM which allows its customers to get a 2G service when they move out of 3G coverage. This agreement allows 3 to offer coverage to up to 99,8% of the population on 2G service. On 22 February 2006, 3 announced the first launch of HSDPA technology in Italy, with initial coverage of Rome. The HSDPA service, which provides wireless broadband access with speed up to 14.4 Megabit/s, has been initially launched offering connection speeds up to 3.6 Megabit/s. The service has been called ADSM (as a contraction for ADSL Mobile). On 14 May 2006 3 was the 1st in Italy to launch the Digital Mobile TV with the DVB-H technology (70% of population); this service is currently available with three mobile models LG U900, LG U960 & Samsung SGH-P910. 3 Italy's slogan is: Meglio cambiare, no? (It's better to change, isn't it?). From November 2006 to March 2007, 3 Italy's testimonial has been Paris Hilton, followed by Luciana Littizzetto. From 6 June 2008 3 Italy offers free of charge the viewing of Rai 1, Rai 2, Canale 5, Italia 1, Rete 4, SKY Meteo24, Current TV and La7 television channels with DVB-H technology. In 2013, 3 Italy all inclusive plan for pay as you go sim called "All In", this plans permits in 2014 to raise up the customer to 10 million. In 2014, Three starts to upgrade the BTS network with the new frequency licensed UMTS 900 that will be permit to improve the indoor coverage. Ownership:

United Kingdom

A 3 store in Banbury, England

Hutchison 3G launched in the UK on 3 March 2003 (03-03-03), the day that 3G services went live across the country,[50] and handsets went on sale later that month. This made Three the UK’s first commercial video mobile network. On 9 December 2004, Three announced that they were the first network to meet their regulatory requirement of 80% population coverage in the UK.[51] Three's UK division is owned entirely by Hutchison Whampoa. Three operates 3G and 4G services, and maintains a national roaming agreement with Orange to provide 2G services where 3G is unavailable. Until 2006, Three partnered with O2 for 2G services.[52] The 2G fallback coverage provided by Orange has since greatly diminished, while still available, it is being removed in some areas as Three believe 3G technology is now enough for mass adoption, and as a result, many (often at the cheaper end) phones that support only 2G networks are not compatible with the Three network.[53] As of 2013, Three no longer provides a significant 2G fallback for most of the United Kingdom. Three's first retail stores (3Store) opened at the same time as the network launched, on Oxford Street and High Street Kensington, both in London, and at the Birmingham Mailbox. Three's handsets and contracts are also sold by mobile telephony chains and independents throughout the UK, as well as online retailers. In 2005, an expansion of the 3Store portfolio saw stores opened in larger malls throughout the UK, such as the Bluewater Shopping Centre, and The Mall at Cribbs Causeway near Bristol.[54] On 24 October 2006, Three announced that it had purchased 95 high street shops from O2 and The Link.[55]


Frequencies used per-country
Country Frequency Protocol Class
Austria 900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE 2G
1800 MHz LTE 4G
2600 MHz LTE 4G
1800 MHz LTE 4G
2600 MHz LTE 4G
800 MHz FDD-LTE 4G
2600 MHz FDD-LTE 4G
2600 MHz TDD-LTE 4G
Hong Kong 900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE 2G
1800 MHz FDD-LTE 4G
2300 MHz TDD-LTE 4G
2600 MHz FDD-LTE 4G
Indonesia 1800 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE 2G
1800 MHz LTE 4G
Ireland 900 MHz UMTS/HSPA 3G
1800 MHz LTE 4G
Italy 900 MHz UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+ 3G
1800 MHz FDD-LTE 4G
2600 MHz FDD-LTE 4G
2600 MHz TDD-LTE 4G
800 MHz LTE (planned)[56] 4G
1800 MHz LTE[57] 4G

See also


  1. ^ Hutchison Whampoa Limited: Telecommunications
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^
  22. ^ Annual Report 2008
  23. ^ 3 to bring iPhone to Hong Kong and Macau
  24. ^
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ 3 Indonesia coverage map
  27. ^
  28. ^ DerStandard: -Chef Thoma: Mobiles Breitband löst ADSL und Co. ab3, 2 May 2008 (German)
  29. ^ Hutchison 3G garantiert auch in Zukunft bestes Netz, 4 Jan 2012 (German)
  30. ^ Computerwelt: Telekombranche guten Mutes, 4 October 2006 (german)
  31. ^ IIR: Award für "10. Jahreskongress für die Telekom Branche - TEL.CON 2007" (german)
  32. ^ Telecom Paper: 3 Austria to offer 3 DVB-H devices, free mobile TV use until year-end, 30 May 2008
  33. ^ Heise: DVB-H startet in Österreich, 1 June 2008 (German)
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^ Hutchison Whampoa to Buy Orange Austria for $1.7 Billion NY Times 3 February 2012
  39. ^ Li Ka-Shing’s Hutchison Whampoa Buys Orange Austria In $1.7 Billion Deal Bloomberg by Mark Lee and Cornelius Rahn, 3 February 2012
  40. ^ Hutchison Whampoa to Buy Orange Austria for $1.7 Billion WSJ 3 February 2012
  41. ^ a b 3 Ireland reaches 500,000 customers
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^ Andala 3G SpA
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^

External links

  • Official website
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