Vodafone completes 3G network switch off

27 February 2024, 17:34

UK mobile phone networks stock
UK mobile phone networks stock. Picture: PA

The mobile operator said the switch off would help free up network space for faster 4G and 5G services.

Vodafone has completed the switch off of its legacy 3G network, the mobile operator has said, as it repurposes 3G radio frequencies to be used by newer 4G and 5G networks.

The 3G switch off is being carried out by all major mobile operators to free up network space for 4G and 5G, which allow for faster data services and better voice calls.

Confirmation of the completion of Vodafone’s switch off follows a similar announcement from EE, while Three has previously said it will turn off its 3G network by the end of 2024.

Comparison site Uswitch said that while the 3G switch off would not impact the majority of users, older device users may have to take some action.

“The 3G switch off is essential for freeing-up the ‘network spectrum’ for 4G and 5G, which will ultimately be used to cope with the increasing demand our digital lives place on the network,” a Uswitch spokesperson said.

“The vast majority of phone users won’t need to do anything, but it is important to be aware this change is taking place, particularly for those with older relatives, who may rely on older handsets.

“Our recent research revealed that 2.7 million mobile users were still unsure if their device was ready for the switch off – with those age +75 more likely to be in this boat.

“While Vodafone and EE are both reporting their 3G switch-off now, other mobile phone providers will also soon be following suit, switching off 3G over the next couple of years.

“Mobile phone users should check device settings and make sure their phone is 4G or 5G ready, as well as ensuring they have the latest software and security updates.

“It’s important that no one is left behind so it’s worth checking in with friends and relatives too in case they have older devices.”

UK mobile phone networks stock
The logo of mobile phone network Vodafone is displayed (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Vodafone said it had been notifying customers since January 2022 of the upcoming national switch off to ensure a smooth transition for the public.

The firm’s UK network director, Andrea Dona, said: “The 3G legacy switch off has been a massive programme and I’d like to thank my team for their hard work to make this a success.

“With switch off complete, we can start to redeploy the remaining spectrum which will ultimately lead to stronger and faster 4G and 5G across the UK.

“All on top of our existing 4G and 5G network improvement programmes.

“Good news for our customers, businesses and the wider UK economy.”

By Press Association

More Technology News

See more More Technology News

Cyber fraud

Creating ‘deepfake’ sexual images to be criminal offence under new legislation

A hand on a laptop

Criminals ramp up social engineering and AI tactics to steal consumer details

A woman’s hand presses a key of a laptop keyboard

Data regulator issues new guidance for healthcare sector on transparency

A Samsung sign spelled out in drones

Samsung takes top phone-maker spot back from Apple

Apple devices

Apple to allow iPhone repairs with used parts

TikTok research

TikTok launches campaign urging users to get MMR jab

WhatsApp has been criticised after lowering its age limit

Meta under fire after WhatsApp lowers age restriction from 16 to 13

Attendees pose for a group photograph at the AI safety summit

Next AI summit to be hosted by UK and South Korea in May

Social media apps

Meta under fire for ‘tone deaf’ minimum age change on WhatsApp

Social media apps

Q&A: Social media apps and minimum age requirements

Bafta Games Awards

Baldur’s Gate 3 dominates Bafta Games Awards with five wins

UK’s media habits

Government needs TikTok strategy to combat misinformation, say MPs

ChatGPT study

Growing concerns over AI foundation model market, competition regulator says

Tesco shopper

Tesco.com joins competitors in launching ‘Best of British’ page

Instagram's new safety tools to combat so-called sextortion and intimate image abuse

Meta announces new tools to tackle sextortion and intimate image abuse

A teenager using a tablet

Nearly fifth of teenagers say internet main information source on sexual health