Get ready for the Vodafone 3G switch-off

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May 30, 2022
Vodafone mobile phone users reliant on the 3G network are being warned to upgrade their devices before a major change comes about next year

The government has agreed with the UK mobile network operators that 2033 will be the date by which all public 2G and 3G networks in the UK will be switched off.

However, earlier this year, Vodafone announced that their 3G retirement would take place in 2023, with a commitment to deliver the most reliable network and keep customers connected.

Vodafone will begin retiring its 3G network next year as part of the network modernisation programme to improve the 4G and 5G experience for all customers.

The programme, which will see 3G coverage gradually phased out and replaced by strengthened 4G and 5G services, will mean customers across more parts of the UK can access more reliable connectivity through the Vodafone network.

Simon Gardner

Simon Gardner, sales manager of Stonehouse-based Lister Unified Communications, explained: "To use 5G the all-new, all singing and dancing network which has very high speeds and is quicker to connect, Ofcom is allowing them to reuse frequencies. 3G has been around since 2001 and it's very old and it's not used by many phones.

"We've still got 2G and 4G and have got 5G coming but with some phones, especially what I would term as 'dumb' phones -not smart phones - you can't get 5G and some of them can't get 4G so if you've got 3G it's going to be switched off next year. They can make calls because they will still have 2G but they won't be able to do anything else.

"Some people who are still using old devices just need to double check with their supplier, especially for Vodafone customers at the moment. The other networks will follow but they haven't announced fully when that's going to happen."

Simon said 5G was currently accessible in the centre of Cheltenham and the centre of Gloucester, for instance, and was extremely fast and opened up new opportunities for businesses.

"It's an ever-changing, fast-paced world of communications and you need to keep up," he added.

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