Get ready to farewell 3G Networks

3G coverage

As many of us within the connected communications industry will be aware, the emergence of 4G and of course 5G networks also herald the sunset of the 3G network.

In 2019, Telstra became the first major Australian telco provider to notify its intention to switch off its 3G network, and both Optus and Vodafone followed with their own announcements.

TelcoNews Australia recently updated the 3G switch off dates for these major network providers to:

  • TPG Dec 2023
  • Telstra June 2024
  • Optus Sept 2024.

Why is the 3G network shutting down?

While 3G used to be the main pillar of mobile coverage around Australia, it’s now used far less frequently, as modern devices instead rely more on the faster 4G and 5G networks. That means phone providers have a huge amount of their network dedicated to a service that isn’t used – and is only going to become less and less relevant in the future. By shutting down 3G coverage, a provider like Telstra or Optus can take the radio frequency bands it used for that network and repurpose to improve and expand 4G or 5G coverage.

How to get ready for the 3G sunset

An estimate earlier this year put the number of 3G-reliant devices in Australia at about 3 million – most of which are older ones that have been around for at least five or six years.

All of them will stop working after the shutdown. These include phones, eftpos machines, cars, tablets and security cameras.

There are still devices out there operating on 3G but it is time to free up the bandwidth for the newer technologies so act and upgrade your older devices (e.g. security systems, monitoring devices, medical alarms, tracking systems, medical alarms etc). The easiest way to find out whether a device you have is going to be affected by the shutdown is to contact the manufacturer.

Once you found out, we encourage you to get in touch with your providers or our team at Pathfinder if you need help with any kind of upgrade project.


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