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Navigating the 3G Shutdown

1 May 2024

Navigating the 3G Shutdown | Agtech Hub

When are 3G networks being shut down?

Telstra intends to switch off their 3G network in June 2024. You can find out more about what these changes mean for you here.

Optus plans to shut down remaining 3G services from September 2024. You can find out more about these changes and what you should do here.

Vodafone have now completely shut down their 3G network. You can find out more about these changes and what you should do here.

Why are 3G networks being shut down?

The shutdown of 3G networks across the three main telecommunications providers is necessary as they move towards more advanced technologies like 4G and 5G.

These newer networks are designed to support faster internet speeds, better call quality, and more devices at the same time. As technology advances, it’s natural for older systems to become outdated and be phased out to make room for improvements.

The shift from 3G to 4G and 5G is similar to upgrading from an old, slow computer to a newer, faster one; it allows everyone to enjoy a better, more efficient connectivity experience.

Each telecommunications provider has committed to upgrading tower infrastructure before the 3G network is shut off, to ensure users receive the same or better coverage on the 4G network as noted on provider coverage maps (refer to the provider information below).
As with all technology changes, there is some risk to current provided service quality. The below tips have been designed to hopefully avoid or guide you through any challenges that arise.

What do I need to do?

If you’re affected by the 3G shutdown, the most important thing is to stay informed and prepare for the transition. This means:

1. Checking your devices and plans.

  • Follow the steps from your provider.
  • If you have a phone manufactured prior to 2019 (more than four years old) you should:
    • check your device manual,
    • visit your device manufacturer’s website,
    • contact the retailer that sold the handset,
    • or visit one of your provider’s stores for assistance.

As a general guide, your device manual or manufacturer should be able to tell you whether your specific device supports VoLTE Emergency Calling.
For Telstra customers, there is a very simple tool to let you know if your phone is compatible. Simply text the number 3 to 3498, and you will receive a message advising of your phone’s compatibility and any actions you might need to take.

2. Considering upgrades if necessary.

  • a. Do a stocktake of all your mobile phone and broadband devices and check they are compatible firstly with 4G VoLTE (Voice over Long-term evolution), and secondly within the frequencies commonly used. Further information can be found on the Regional Tech Hub website. Your service provider will be able to help check this.
  • b. If your device is not 4G or 5G capable:
    • i. Talk to the supplier of your device (mobile etc) to discuss solutions – you will need to know:
      • ii. The number and type of devices you need to replace. You are responsible for the costs of any devices upgraded/purchased.
      • iii. Your requirements for connectivity going forward? For example, do you need to maintain connectivity in an emergency? Are you running a business and need to ensure you can maintain EFTPOS systems, remote operations or a large device network?
  • 3. Work with the support team from your provider, or your equipment supplier, to identify a suitable timeline to transition all your devices across to the 4G and 5G networks. You may need to only upgrade your device or change a switch on it in some cases or purchase a new device outright in others.

Download the 3G-shutdown-QA-Document-2.pdf (regionaltechhub.org.au)

Find more information here – What does the 3G shutdown mean for me – Regional Tech Hub

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