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The 3G Network is Being Switched Off

The 3G network has been used since 2003 to deliver calls, texts, and data. As technology progresses, it ultimately means that the 3G and 2G networks use older, less efficient technology. With the success of the 4G and 5G networks, the older networks are being switched off.

The switch off may be problematic for customers using older mobile devices and services that rely on the 2G and 3G networks. If you are using an older device or SIM that relies on these older networks, you will need to replace them.

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What does the 3G network shut Down mean for me?

If your phone and SIM are 4G compatible, then you won’t be affected. However, if your phone relies on the 3G network, then it will no longer be able to connect to a network to use data.

How do I know if my phone is compatible with 4G?

One way to check your 4G compatibility is by checking online. Search for the make and model to see if the specifications include 4G. If you’re not sure, get in touch and one of our mobile experts can help.

Will other devices be affected by the 3G switch off?

Mobile phones aren’t the only devices that could be affected by the switch off. Some devices, like care alarms, security alarms or payment terminals may also rely on the 3G network. These devices will also need to be considered and if your business is operating such devices they will need to be upgraded.

Signal boosters are another device that are likely to be affected, as a large number of these devices rely on the 3G network.

How long until the 3G network is switched off?

The switch off begins in January 2024. We recommend that customers take inventory of their devices and SIMs as soon as possible. Customers should have replaced all outdated technology by December 2023.

The big four network providers, O2, Three, EE and Vodafone, all have differing schedules for the 3G switch off. Smaller networks such as Giffgaff, Tesco Mobile, PlusNet etc, all piggyback off one of the main four networks. This means that no matter your provider, you need to check your devices.

Vodafone have already begun to switch off their 3G network. Trials began in February and the full switch-off begins in June. Find out the latest information here.

EE plans to begin the 3G switch-off in early 2024. Find out the latest information here.
Three plans to complete the switch-off of their 3G network by the end of 2024. Find out the latest information here.
O2 currently have not announced their plans for the 3G shutdown.