January 29, 2024

The 3G Switch Off: What Does It Mean ?

UK mobile network operators are switching off their 3G UK networks as part of a broader strategy to enhance and future-proof mobile services across the UK. In some areas of the country the network operators have already begun switching off parts of their 3G networks. The phasing out of 2G will take place over the longer term, with no schedules announced yet.

The national switch-off is driven by the need to re-use the radio frequencies currently utilised by 2G and 3G technologies, replacing them with faster, more reliable, and more energy-efficient 4G and 5G technologies. This will enable operators to provide superior services, while also future-proofing mobile networks to meet the significantly growing demand for connectivity. The re-use of radio frequencies is not somethign new and has been done before, most notably, the television switch-over from analogue to digital.

The first to be switched off will be 3G, which will be completely switched off by 2025, followed by 2G. The process of phasing out 3G technologies has already commenced, while the phasing out of 2G technologies will take place over the longer term.

This switch-off is part of a global trend, with some countries such as USA already having switched off 3G completely. In Germany, the Netherlands and Italy some networks have also switched off their 3G networks.

To read more about the retirement of 2G and 3G technologies, Mobile UK has set up a website to provide additional information and schedules which can be found here. The website also provides links to individual operator websites.

Mobile UK will also be releasing a short video soon. Keep an eye out for this video, which will be published on our YouTube channel in the next few weeks.

For more information in the meantime visit our website here.

About Building Mobile Britain

Building Mobile Britain logo

Building Mobile Britain is a campaign created by Mobile UK seeking to work with national and local government, as well as interested industry groups to overcome the challenges we face with expanding the existing mobile networks, while also developing innovative services for customers.

See here for further information - or #BuildingMobileBritain

Media Contacts

Gareth Elliott
Head of Policy and Communications
Tel: 07887 911 076

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