• What does the 3G shutdown mean for me

    Phone technology is continually evolving. Change can be scary, and with the 3G network shutdown occurring right now, we want to make sure you understand the changes and what you need to do to maintain connectivity in the mobile phone and broadband space.

  • timeline
    Source – Telstra

  • How the mobile phone network in Australia works

    Currently, three phone networks are in use across brands: 3G, 4G, and 5G. As technology has evolved, usage of the 3G network has decreased over time. As a result, mobile providers Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone are closing their 3G networks.

    3G network closure dates:

    Telstra: Extended from June to 31 August 2024
    Optus: September 2024
    Vodafone: Closure complete

    This choice allows them to repurpose the 3G spectrum to enhance 4G and expand 5G networks. As 3G users are moved across to 4G and 5G with technology improvements, this creates space on the previous 3G spectrum, which can be then used for the 5G network and its advanced technology.

  • How the 3G shutdown will impact your connectivity

    Anyone currently using the 3G network, either for mobile phone voice services or mobile broadband and modems, must transition to at least 4G capable devices before the network is switched off.

    The following devices may use the 3G network:

    • Phones
    • Tablets/iPads
    • Modems
    • Medical devices
    • Devices and equipment that extend mobile reception, such as antennas
    • EFTPOS machines
    • IoT equipment such as farming probes and sensors, monitoring cameras for watering, etc.

    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.

  • What I need to do to stay connected

    Changes will be rolled out on different schedules according to each telecommunications provider. If your mobile service is through another provider and you need to figure out which network they use, we suggest contacting them to see if you need to make any changes to your devices. Each company or Telco is aware of which of their customers are using 3G-enabled devices, which may include some farm machinery, older mobile phones, and some point-of-sale devices. They will usually contact those customers before any changes.

    You don’t need to do anything if all your devices can currently access and work off the 4G network. Please refer to the relevant content below for your schedule and action requirements if they don’t.

    In general, here are a few steps you can take regardless of the provider network you fall under:

    1. Do a stocktake of all your mobile phone and broadband devices and check the following:
      • Your device supports 4G VoLTE (if your device is used for voice calls).
      • Your device is compatible with the 4G—2100 MHz (B1), 1800 MHz (B3), 2600 MHz (B7), 900 MHz (B8), and 700 MHz (B28) spectrums. (*5G is available in select areas (ex NT) and on select plans.
    2. If your device is not 4G or 5G capable:
      • Talk to the supplier of your device (mobile, etc) or discuss solutions. You will need to know the following:
        • The number and type of devices you need to replace.
        • What are 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?
        • Work with the support team to identify a suitable timeline for transitioning all your devices to the 4G and 5G networks. In some cases, you may need to upgrade your device or change a switch on it, while in others, you may need to purchase a new device outright.
  • Telstra 3G shutdown schedule

    ***Telstra has extended their deadline to switch off their 3G network to 31 August 2024.***

    You can find out more about what these changes mean for you here.

    Currently, Telstra is playing a short 10-second message before all outgoing calls on all 3G impacted mobile devices. This message can not be removed until the service has been updated. The message won’t play if it’s a triple zero call. You can access more information here.

    Telstra has also created an easy SMS check tool which allows you to confirm if your mobile device is 4G compatible.

    • Text ‘3’ to 3498. You will receive a text back outlining your compatibility and any next steps.
    • The SMS Device Checker is also available for customers using telcos that access the Telstra network. If you’re not sure which telco your service provider is using, look it up easily on AMTA’s 3G Closure site https://amta.org.au/3g-closure/service-providers/.

    NOTE: Telstra GO Repeaters operate on both 3G and 4G and will not be impacted when 3G closes on 31 August 2024. However, some repeaters may have been switched manually to only operate on 3G. To help customers check this, Telstra has prepared some easy-to-follow instructions.

    Telstra also have a number of fact sheets and other resources available regarding the transition:

  • Optus 3G shutdown schedule

    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 3G shutdown schedule

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

  • For more information and support

    1. The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and the Regional Tech Hub also hosted a webinar with guest speakers from Telstra and Optus to talk about the changes. You can watch the replay to your right.
    2. The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) has created a new website to provide Australians with the key facts and information they need to prepare for the upcoming 3G network closures. The website provides Australians with easy-to-understand information that will enable them to prepare for the impending network closures. It offers clear steps on where to seek help and upgrade impacted mobile phones, tablets or smartwatch devices.
    3. BIRRR has created a 3G shutdown information page here.


  • Check out some of our resources below to get the most out of your devices

  • Back to resources

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