Three UK revealed its quarterly financial performance this week, showcasing an increase in revenue and margin while reiterating its intent for a potential merger with competitor Vodafone.

The telecommunications company disclosed a notable 9% surge in both revenue, climbing to £664 million, and margin, reaching £424 million. This growth was attributed in part to a rise in its customer base, with active customers increasing by 3% overall and active contract customers by 6%.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is ready to plunge into an in-depth probe into a possible £15 billion merger between telecommunications giants Vodafone UK and Three UK, a decision that could reshape the mobile market landscape. This action, while not surprising, showcases how the regulator continues to question the ambiguous benefits claimed by the companies regarding impact on competition and investment.

Three UK’s latest financial report reveals a concerning swing to a loss, underscoring the company’s pressing need for a merger with Vodafone, as articulated by its chief executive. Despite experiencing growth in both revenue and customer base last year, the mobile operator faced increased capital spending and operating costs, leading to its first earnings loss in over a decade. This financial downturn has been a pivotal factor in advocating for the proposed merger with Vodafone, according to Three UK’s CEO, Robert Finnegan.

In an ambitious move to counteract the issue of network congestion within city environments, UK mobile operator Three has initiated a pioneering project in Glasgow, employing the advanced technology of Mavenir. The initiative focuses on the strategic placement of small cell units across the city to enhance urban connectivity, particularly in areas where 5G coverage is inconsistent.

The UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom, has finalized plans to auction off mmWave spectrum for mobile services, with an eye on potential effects a pending Vodafone/Three UK merger might have. This move underscores the regulatory body’s diligent efforts to enhance 5G spectrum allocations, allocating citywide licenses to 68 major UK locations. Despite the anticipated delay due to the merger’s evaluation, Ofcom plans to award licenses on a first-come, first-served basis in less densely populated areas, promising a balanced landscape for both telecom giants and early adopters.

Bringing 4G to the UK’s remotest realms, Three UK has established 100 dedicated sites through the Shared Rural Network (SRN). This initiative enhances coverage by around 2,800km2, reaching over 37,000 new premises. However, with the ambitious goal to extend 4G coverage to 95% of the country by 2025, one can’t help but ponder, is the UK on pace to meet this target? Participate in the discussion at the Connected Britain digital economy event.