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Three UK to offer ‘Ultrafast’ Samsung Galaxy S3 with 4G

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Three UK will be launching an upgraded version of the Samsung Galaxy SIII with support for its new ‘Ultrafast’ network (or DC-HSDPA), and it turns out that the phone will also work with Three’s 4G network that is coming later this year.

Whilst the 4G auction is taking place, Three is advertising a new ‘Ultrafast’ service that’s bound to confuse some. This isn’t 4G as such, but a network speed known as DC-HSDPA. It’s effectively 3.5G if you will – faster than 3G but not quite as fast as 4G LTE.

The Galaxy SIII ‘Ultrafast’ will be one of a few phones to make use of this super speedy service, alongside the new Sony Xperia Z and others. Three says that 50% of the UK currently has Ultrafast coverage, with the hope of reaching 80% of the country by the end of March.

So are there any differences between the Ultrafast S3 and the normal one, and the S3 LTE from EE for that matter? Well, the only difference will be the radio, which is the part that connects your phone to the mobile network. Three’s Ultrafast S3 will work with its Ultrafast network now and continue to support 4G services later in the year, so you’ll effectively have a future-proof phone that will always be able to use the fastest speeds from Three.

The phone was originally advertised as rocking Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which was a step down from the Jelly Bean OS that you’ll find on the regular S3. However, Three has since corrected its error – the Galaxy SIII Ultrafast rocks Jelly Bean 4.1.

There’s always a downside these days, and as you might expect, it’s the price. Three charges £5 extra per month for the Ultrafast version when compared to the regular S3, which over a two year contract will see you paying out an extra £120. Worth it? You decide.