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Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Macau also joining 'Feel At Home' program

Three has become the first major UK network operator to allow its customers to roam freely in the U.S. by adding the country to its "Feel At Home" program. The operator is also adding Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Macau to the list, bringing the total number of supported territories up to 11. Other Feel At Home countries include the Republic of Ireland, Australia, Italy, Austria, Hong Kong, Sweden and Denmark.

Feel At Home debuted in late August, and allows Three UK customers use the local network as if they were still in the UK at no extra cost. Their UK data allowance can be used, and calls and texts to UK numbers are handled in the same way too — though calls and texts to non-UK numbers are charged separately. Similarly, tethering is not allowed through Feel At Home.

The deal is open to all Three Pay As You Go, pay monthly, SIM-only, mobile broadband and business customers with roaming activated on their accounts.

The addition of the U.S. to the list is a significant step, as UK carriers often charge extremely high roaming rates to roam in states. The fact that the offer is open to PAYG customers also goes against the norm, as those on prepaid are often excluded from roaming deals.

Other operators have stepped up with more reasonable travel deals recently, but the prospect of unlimited roaming data in the U.S. is a new development for the UK market, and something that'll be of great interest to transatlantic travelers. More details in the presser after the break.

Source: Three Media Center

Press Release

 - USA one of four new fear-free roaming destinations for Three customers.
- Three customers can use their UK data, text and calling allowance while in the USA, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Macau.
- Feel At Home now operates in 11 destinations around the world.

Three is extending its Feel At Home proposition to the USA, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Macau. Feel At Home allows customers to use their UK allowances to use data, text, call home and receive calls from home when abroad in certain countries. Feel At Home now operates in 11 destinations around the world.

Commenting on Feel at Home, Dave Dyson, Chief Executive of Three, said: “We want customers to get the most out of their devices at home or abroad. High roaming charges stop people enjoying their phones while they’re away and Feel At Home is the antidote to that.

“Adding the USA to the mix is great news for our customers and shows our commitment to giving them the best experience in what is a popular destination. We plan to add more countries to the mix soon.”

As part of its quarterly business update Three outlined how popular propositions like Feel At Home and 321 pay-as-you-go helped Three increase its total active customers to 7.8 million - a 9.7% increase since Q3 2012. Three added close to 300,000 net new customers in Q3.

Richard Woodward, Chief Financial Officer, said: “With a strong network foundation in place and a growing brand reputation, we’ve seen another quarter of improving profitability. We have also continued our customer growth in both the contract and prepaid markets through simple and enjoyable propositions like Feel at Home and 321. With nearly 8 million customers now on the Three network this is an excellent platform to continue to grow our financial performance.”

Three also confirmed its 4G rollout plans. From 2nd December, Three started upgrading customers with a 4G-ready device, so they can access the latest high-speed data technology when they are in an area with 4G coverage. This rollout will accelerate in January, with all customers with a compatible device able to access 4G at no extra cost by the end of Q1 2014 when they are in an area with 4G coverage.

Three aims to cover 50 cities with 4G by the end of 2014 and 98% of the population by the end of 2015.

Dave Dyson, said: “We are building a brand and network that encourages and enables customers to enjoy the mobile internet. Customers are using more data than ever on Three, far more than on any other network. As we add 4G capacity to the network, this experience will only get better.”