07 September 2023


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 already switched off its 3G network in several locations across the UK, with the final phase taking place in January 2024. 

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 are currently phasing out their 3G network and expect to have it completely switched 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 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 shut down in the UK:

2G 3G
Vodafone 2033 January 2024
EE 2033 2024
Three 2033 End of 2024
Virgin Media O2 2033 2025

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.  If you have any questions regarding your products, please get in touch with us today. 

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