3G network switch off

Since 2019, Australia’s mobile network operators have been preparing to switch off their 3G networks to boost the capacity, speed and reliability of their 4G and 5G networks.

Telstra recently announced that it will delay its 3G network switch off until 31 August 2024. Optus is planning to switch off its 3G network from 1 September 2024. TPG Telecom/Vodafone has already switched off its 3G network.

If you receive advice from your mobile service provider that your device is impacted, you must take urgent action to remain connected.

While it is well-understood that the 3G switch offs impact 3G devices, some 4G devices are also impacted.

Some 4G devices may be unable to make any voice calls once a 3G network is switched off. There is also a subset of 4G devices that may continue to operate for voice calls and data but will not be able to make Triple Zero calls. This subset of 4G devices are of most concern because customers will mistakenly believe that their device is not affected by the switch off, until they try to call Triple Zero in an emergency.

Older 4G devices and devices that are purchased overseas are particularly at risk.

As announced by the Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP, the Government is working with the major mobile network operators – Telstra, Optus and TPG Telecom/Vodafone – as well as the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), including via a new industry Working Group, to support the planned switch offs in a safer way.

Service providers are making efforts to advise customers with devices that may be impacted. If you have received advice from your service provider that your device may be impacted you will need to contact them on actions you need to take.

Mobile service providers are best placed to advise if your device may be affected. There are several ways you can check your device:

Customers of other mobile service providers should contact their relevant service provider directly.

You can also visit www.3gclosure.com.au for general information on the types of devices that may be impacted. AMTA, the organisation that hosts that website, is the peak industry body representing Australia’s mobile telecommunications industry.

It is very important that you do not call Triple Zero to test your device. This won’t help you work out if your device is affected and may stop others accessing life-saving support.

Be aware of scams. Only contact your mobile provider using trusted information and links.