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3G network shutdown

Summary
In mid-December 2023, TPG Group, Telstra and Optus announced the phased shutdown of their 3G networks to better facilitate the availability and use of the 4G and 5G networks.

Vodafone and TPG 3G networks are now closed.

Telstra 3G networks will shutdown on 31 August 2024.

Optus 3G networks will shutdown in September 2024.

The 3G network shutdown will typically impact older mobile handsets but could also impact other devices that connect over a mobile network such as tablets, smart watches, baby monitors, medical alarms or EFTPOS machines.

There are multiple ways devices can be affected:

  • Devices that only connect via the 3G network will no longer be able to make phone calls, send or receive messages, access data or contact 000.
  • Devices that are not VoLTE compatible will not be able to make phone calls over the 4G and 5G network
  • Devices that do not support emergency VoLTE compatible will not be able to call 000

If you are on the Telstra or Optus network, you can text '3' to the number '3498' to check if your device will be affected by the 3G closure.

If consumers have an impacted device, it’s important to upgrade these devices now to avoid being without service. Telstra is sending 12,000 mobile devices to their most disadvantaged, elderly and remote customers.

How can we help?

We may be able to help with problems related to the shutdown, including:

  • Detriment that has occurred because of not being notified of the 3G network closure.
  • Disputes about contracts
  • Paying for a service or equipment that cannot be used.
  • Hardship that has occurred or may occur due to the 3G network shut down.

The TIO will not be able to handle complaints about having no coverage as a result of the shutdown, requests for the 3G network to stay connected, or handsets and devices that are no longer working and were not supplied as part of a current contract.

Consumers should always contact their provider first to try and resolve the problem. If you can’t work it out together, contact us on 1800 062 058 or make a complaint online at tio.com.au.

More information

Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association

Fact sheet on the shutdown of the 3G network

Understanding your Mobile Phone's VoLTE and Emergency Calling Capabilities ahead of 3G Network Closures

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network

Quick steps to prepare for the 3G shutdown

Telstra

3G closure - what do I need to know?

How do I enable VoLTE on my mobile phone?

Vodafone

Our 3G network is closing down

Voice over LTE (VoLTE)

Optus

Important changes to 3G

VoLTE Guide: Explore Voice over LTE calls