Hutchison Whampoa-owned mobile operator Three UK’s Three Wholesale division is partnering with vendor Mobius to make a big push into the Machine-To-Machine (M2M) market.

Under the new partnership, Three’s 3G network will be used to power Mobius’ NFC contactless POS payment terminals for the retail and hospitality industry, as well as to back up fixed-line data connections during outages.

The youngest of UK’s mobile operators, Three currently carries 42 percent of the UK’s mobile data traffic on its DC-HSDPA network.

The operator is in the process of rolling out its 4G LTE network using the 800MHz spectrum it acquired from the 4G auction in February this year plus the 1800 MHz spectrum it received from EE after the Orange-T-Mobile merger.

“Businesses are seeking longevity in their connectivity solutions, speeds that often exceed local fixed-lines and tariffs that support large data consumption,” said Lynda Burton, Director of Three Wholesale.

“The Three network is available to the M2M market through carefully selected wholesale partnerships, so we’re delighted to announce this latest agreement with Mobius.

Three currently has over 13,000 mobile sites in its network and plans to add 5,000 more by 2015 to improve its mobile broadband offering, which has received accolades for speed from several UK bodies. 

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