Our plans to switch off 3G
We’ll be saying goodbye to 3G at the end of 2024 as we work on bringing you faster download speeds, better quality streaming and a more reliable experience with our 4G & 5G Big Network Build roll out.
Better, faster, reliable:
We are changing up our network with better technology, building extra sites, upgrading 3G only sites to 4G and accelerating our 5G roll out in fact, we’re spending more than £2m every day to make this happen.
This means you’ll be able to take advantage of being on the UK’s fastest 5G network, as recognised by Ookla®* in even more areas than ever before.
What this means for you:
We’ll be one of the UK’s first exclusively 4G & 5G networks by 2024. Don’t worry, there’s lots of time to make the move over to a suitable device if you haven’t already, and we’re here to help all the way.
There are a few things you can do now, to future proof your device and services from the upcoming changes;
Check whether 4G or 5G coverage is available in your area right now.
No 4G or 5G?: Don’t worry if it hasn’t arrived in your area yet, our Big Network Build will have you covered soon
See what your upgrade options are if you do not have 4G Calling device
Did you know?: If you’re a SIM Only customer, you can upgrade even if you’re still within your minimum term!** If you’d like to take advantage of this, please contact us.
See our exciting range of Pay As You Go devices
Did you know?: Our entire phone range is 4G Calling enabled for use within the UK***
* Based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data for Q3–Q4 2021. Ookla® trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.
** Subject to credit eligibility and having completed a minimum of 3 months of your SIM Only contract.
*** Find out more information about 4G Calling Abroad
- What is 4G Calling and how do I check I have this on my device?
In 2016 we became the first UK operator to use 4G for voice calls and introduced our low frequency 800MHz spectrum. This low frequency lets you make calls, send texts and get online in more places than ever before. If you’ve bought a voice calling device from us since then, it’s very likely you’ll have this capability.
You can check your device compatibility and find out how to activate 4G Calling if your device supports it at our Device Support hub
- When will our 3G switch off happen?
We expect to switch off 3G by the end of 2024, so there’s lot of time for you make the move over to a 4G Calling or 5G device, if you don’t already have one.
- I’m in a 3G only area right now, what should I do?
By the time 3G switch off happens in 2024, we will have upgraded sites to 4G as a minimum, or ensured coverage is provided from neighbouring sites. You can keep up to date on network improvements via Coverage Checker > Search Coverage
- I can’t afford to upgrade right now, what should I do?
If you’re not able to upgrade right now, there’s no need to worry. 3G will continue to be supported and we’ll be in touch nearer the time if you’re going to be impacted as a result of your device functionality.
- The device I have is suitable for my accessibility needs and I don’t want to change it, what should I do?
We understand how important your device is for your needs. If your current device isn’t 4G Calling compatible, we’ll be happy to discuss devices that could suit your needs whilst being ready for the future of our network. Our Accessibility Team are on hand to help with any specific queries you might have
- Why can’t I stay on 3G?
On 8 December 2021, the Government announced that all public 2G and 3G networks will be switched off by 2033 at the latest. However, it encouraged operators to switch off their networks, particularly 3G networks, earlier than this date.
We want to be ahead of the game, freeing up as much investment as we can into our 4G and 5G network rollout to bring you the best connectivity and experience possible.
- What will happen if I don’t move to a 4G or 5G device?
We won’t support any 3G only devices after 2024 so you won’t be able to get connected
- I’m a Broadband customer, what does this mean for me?
If you have a 3G data only Home or Mobile Broadband device, these won’t be supported after 2024 and we recommend considering upgrading your device.
All 4G and 5G data only Home and Mobile Broadband devices are supported and you won’t need to do anything