The UK’s Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have announced their schedules to shut down 3G services over the next 2 years. For some, it will happen sooner than the end of 2024.
What is happening?
Vodafone has announced its 3G services will be shut down across the UK by early 2024. This has already started in some locations, including Plymouth and Basingstoke in February, as well as Hull, Oxford and Glasgow in July.
EE confirmed they will close all their 3G networks in 2024, with no exact month confirmed. This project has now started and in July 2023, services in Warrington were switched off.
Three will be phasing out their 3G network service gradually over the next 2 years and switching it off by the end of 2024.
Virgin Media O2 has announced it will begin switching off 3G in 2025.
Ofcom is aware of the MNOs' plans and has also provided its advice.
What about the other ‘generations’ of mobile technology?
All MNOs are focusing on strengthening their 4G and 5G networks and maintaining the 2G networks. They are also working together with the Government as part of the ‘Shared Rural Network’ project, which will deliver 4G coverage to 95% of the UK. The Department for Science, Innovation & Technology has also announced funding for local digital revolutions to unlock 5G benefits across the UK.
2G is going nowhere for now, although MNOs have confirmed they will be switching off 2G by 2033. Ofcom has already outlined its expectations for the mobile providers for both the 3G and 2G switch-offs.
The table below outlines the current dates for 2G and 3G shutdown in the UK:
|Three||2033||End of 2024|
As we use multi-network roaming SIMs that provide access to multiple networks and technologies, we foresee very little impact with 3G sunset across the CSL product range. Should you have any questions regarding any of your products, please contact us today.