Australia’s 3G Mobile Phone Sunset – What you need to know

Australia’s 3G sunset: What you need to know before the lights go out. (It’s already started) 

Mobile 3G Sunset

This article was written for Western Sydney Publishing and published on Jan 26th, 2024. I have been writing articles for some time and finally put them online. This one is about the Mobile Phone Service 3G Sunset.

Australia’s 3G mobile network is nearing its final curtain call, marking a significant shift in its telecommunications landscape. While inevitable for technological advancement, this change leaves behind a small portion of users who may need to catch up. This closure is estimated to affect millions of devices still using the 3G network. 

The 3G network shutdown in Australia is happening in stages, with each major mobile carrier following its own timeline: 

  • Vodafone: The pioneer in this switch-off, Vodafone’s 3G network went dark on December 15, 2023. 
  • Telstra: Following suit, Telstra will progressively shut down its 3G network starting June 30, 2024. 
  • Optus: As the last carrier to bid farewell to 3G, Optus users have until September 2024 to make the switch. 

The Australian government has warned that the shutdown will affect many devices, from EFTPOS machines and farming equipment to baby monitors and medical devices. The most affected devices will be older mobile phones that can only connect to 3G. If your device can only connect to 3G, you won’t be able to connect to your service provider’s network after it has been shut down.  

Of the two most popular phone brands, it means Apple iPhone 5 and earlier models, as well as Samsung Galaxy S5 and earlier, will no longer be able to connect to your provider. That means it will no longer be possible to make phone calls, send texts or access mobile internet on the device. If you suspect your phone might be in the affected category, don’t wait until the last minute. Here’s what you can do: 

  • Check your phone’s compatibility: Most manufacturers provide information on their websites or through customer support channels. You can also dial *#06# on your phone to display its IMEI number, which you can then use on various online tools to check compatibility. 
  • Contact your mobile carrier: They can assess your situation and recommend suitable upgrade options. Some carriers even offer upgrade deals or incentives to ease the transition. 
  • Explore your choices: Consider your needs and budget when choosing a new phone. A mid-range 4G phone might suffice if you’re a light user. For heavy data consumers or those seeking the latest features, a 5G phone could be the better investment. 

Take note of the dates above, and if you have an older device (remember it’s not just phones affected), start planning now to upgrade or replace it.  A crucial aspect of the 3G shutdown is its potential impact on emergency calls. If you rely on a 3G-only device for making emergency calls (dialling 000), upgrading before the network goes offline is essential. 

Mobile Phone 3G Sunset

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