February 27, 2024

Vodafone Successfully Switches Off 3G Across The UK

The last remaining 3G radio frequencies will be repurposed to strengthen Vodafone's 4G and 5G services in the UK.

Vodafone UK has successfully switched off its legacy 3G network across the UK*. The activity, which finished this week, allows Vodafone to repurpose the last remaining 3G radio frequencies to strengthen 4G and 5G services, meaning customers across more parts of the UK can access faster data services and clearer voice calls.

The activity follows an ongoing customer awareness campaign which started in January 2022. This included Vodafone notifying its customers (across both consumer and business) who could have been affected by the switch off, offering information and advice such as how to carry out software upgrades where required and how to activate services such as 4G Calling. The campaign also included working with charities and other third-party groups to reach the most vulnerable customers ahead of switch off in their area.

The 3G switch off is part of a wider network modernisation programme which includes the rollout of faster 5G and 4G services to more locations across the UK. Vodafone has also extended its 4G coverage further through the Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme, a £1bn joint initiative between Government and the UK’s four mobile network operators. It uses mast sharing on existing sites in rural areas, while also building new shared masts to connect areas that currently have no coverage at all. Over 155 rural locations across the UK are now receiving more reliable 4G as part of Vodafone’s ongoing commitment to the SRN programme.

Vodafone’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.”

The retirement of Vodafone’s 3G network is also an important part of Vodafone’s strategy to reach Net Zero by 2027, as modern 5G networks are 10 times more energy efficient than the 3G network.

Notes to Editors

*A small number of locations with UK security significance, as well as a handful of remote rural communities, will remain switched on for a short period of time after the main national switch off.

The full article can also be found on Vodafone's website here.

Further information about Vodafone's 3G switch can be found here.

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