By 2025 the UK’s analogue phone network is being switched-off, but that’s not the only major communications technology that is due to be retired imminently.
3G mobile networks are also due to be switched off, with Vodafone leading the charge to retire the older technology. 3G, launched in the UK in 2003, has been replaced in recent years by faster, more reliable 4G and 5G coverage.
According to guidance from Ofcom, the schedules of the UK’s major mobile providers are as follows:
|Vodafone||Begins switching off 3G in ‘early 2023’.||
|EE||Begins switching off 3G in ‘early 2024’.||
Begins switching off 3G ‘by the end of 2024’.
|O2||Yet to announce any switch-off timetable.||
The disappearance of 3G will mostly only affect very rural areas but also those customers with older mobile devices that don’t support newer 4G or 5G. In addition, Ofcom advises businesses to check any other kinds of 3G-enabled devices – such as care alarms, payment terminals and security devices, to ensure these don’t become non-functional. Mobile providers are obligated to announce the change to their customers nearer the time.
Traditional 2G voice and text services are expected to remain in place on Vodafone, EE and O2 until at least the 2030s.
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