July 4, 2022

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Three announces the end of 3G: what this means for your mobile phone

Mobile provider 3 was the initially to offer 3G solutions nearly 20 decades ago, but has now declared it will close 3G by the close of 2024. The network’s target will change to bettering 4G and 5G solutions.  

The variety of persons employing 5G handsets quadrupled in 2021, and Three claims 5G usage on its community has enhanced by 358% in the previous 12 months. Three has acquired the premier quantity of the 5G data spectrum of any supplier, and intends to enhance 5G users’ experience with around £2 billion of expenditure.  

A few is not the only provider with impending strategies to period out 3G and 2G – Vodafone and EE will also be dropping them as early as upcoming year.


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Three’s 3G protection ending in 2024

Investigation by Three uncovered that 5G usage has presently exceeded 3G use, and the change is not likely to gradual down. The network predicts that, by the conclusion of 2022, 5G usage will account for 35% of all data utilization.  

The closure of Three’s 3G products and services is significant, as it at present handles 99% of the Uk out of doors population with its mixed 3G and 4G network, and carries 28% of cellular data traffic in the nation. 

David Hennessy, Chief Engineering Officer at Three United kingdom claimed: ‘3G kick-started off the cell revolution – and released 3 into the United kingdom 20 a long time in the past – but the potential is definitely 5G. As we continue on to roll out our ultrafast connectivity, by not only upgrading our current 4G sites but setting up new 5G web sites, we’ll be in a situation to change off our use of 3G throughout our network by the stop of 2024.’ 

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woman looking at two phones

When will 2G and 3G shut on other Uk mobile networks?

In 2021, the govt built an arrangement with cell community operators Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three that 3G and 2G cell solutions will be phased out by 2033. However, the providers are totally free to pick out when they finish 3G and 2G companies, inside of this timeframe.  

Vodafone has presently explained it’ll be closing 3G products and services in 2023, but has no current programs to close 2G prior to the 2033 deadline. 

EE will also section out 3G companies in 2023, and will shut 2G products and services ‘later in the decade’. 

O2 has not specifically declared when it will shut down 3G and 2G expert services, or whether or not it’s going to be right before the agreed day of 2033. As it stands, this is the only provider that will offer the services immediately after following calendar year, and might be the last port of connect with for some. 

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Why are 3G networks closing?

Demand from customers for knowledge is continually escalating, and that demand from customers is now for 5G information, relatively than 3G. To support satisfy this better need, other sections of the knowledge spectrum need to be reused, so something had to give. 

Also, there is an improved expense to simultaneously running the two kinds of community needed to support 2G/3G and 4G/5G providers, which is encouraging companies to conclusion 2G and 3G. The dollars saved from these closures can then be invested in generating advancements to the 4G and 5G community.  

3 expects the trend of customers working with 3G-only handsets to continue to decline, as more rapidly 4G and 5G equipment are released to the market place.

Examine our guideline to uncover out what is 5G and in which can I get 5G in the British isles?

What does the close of 2G and 3G suggest for my cell telephone?

For most telephone consumers, nothing will need to have to improve delivered your phone supports 4G providers. Nevertheless, some older phones, which includes simple phones, will no more time be able to hook up to a network. 

If you have an more mature phone, your options are to enhance the device to one that supports 4G and 5G, or acquire a Sim for a network that continue to supports 3G when it is cut off by your present company. The most secure alternative as it stands would be O2.

Three is featuring to aid shoppers with more mature 3G-only units remain connected, so getting in contact with your provider really should be your first stage if you have any considerations about 3G expert services staying discontinued. 

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Does this mean I should really upcoming-evidence with a 5G cell phone?

Although it could be tempting to imagine that investing in 5G is a necessity to upcoming-proof your following telephone, 4G isn’t really likely to vanish any time before long, with estimates suggesting it’ll be close to for a good decade or longer.

That explained, 5G features is no more time reserved for flagship telephones – mid-array and even low-cost designs are together with this as regular, so you will find no hurt in bearing it in brain for your subsequent order. You can browse all our assessments of 5G cell phones, where rates start off from beneath £200.

To use 5G, you can expect to also need a 5G Sim, and to be in an location that has a 5G signal. Equally, 5G Sims are turning out to be more conveniently offered at no more cost, even though in some conditions you may well want to pay back a little bit additional. Both way, a 5G telephone prepares you for a 5G Sim if and when you make your mind up you need it.

Browse our round-up of the greatest cell phone and Sim-only specials, such as 5G-suitable products and Sims, to see how much you could preserve.