Telstra has today announced it will be switching off its 3G network in June 2024 to expand its 4G and 5G footprint and provide better coverage for customers across Australia.
From now until June 2024, Telstra will be upgrading and expanding its 4G coverage to match the size and reach of the 3G network.
Telstra was the first telco to roll out its 5G network and says the continuing expansion of the network will mean older technology like the 3G network will need to be switched off.
The Telstra 3G network, named Next G at the time, was switched on in 2006 and was seen as a breakthrough for networks that allowed for increased speeds and expanded coverage for customers and businesses.
Telstra has announced the 3G closure to give customers more than four years notice to prepare for the change ahead of the June 2024 date.
The Telstra 3G network actually forms the backbone of the EFTPOS system, security alarms, personal safety alarms and even connects Tesla Model S and Model X electric vehicles.
“As we grow our mobile network around Australia and upgrade it with the latest technology, we occasionally come to a point where it is necessary to say goodbye to older technology and to use the spectrum it was carried on to boost the performance of newer and more efficient technology,” says Telstra group executive, networks and IT Nikos Katinakis.
“In December 2016, we switched off our 2G technology to provide more spectrum for our 4G technology.
“Today, as part of our program to continually upgrade our network to the latest technology and expand our 4G and 5G coverage, we’re announcing the eventual switch-off of our 3G technology. This will not happen until June 2024 – more than four years away.
“In May this year we launched 5G with the release of the first 5G devices in Australia. As an early adopter and pioneer of 5G, we are on the cusp of the latest mobile technology worldwide.”
The spectrum used to carry voice and data over the older 3G network will eventually be repurposed to help expand the Telstra 5G footprint.
“We are giving our customers more than four years’ notice to prepare for the change ahead of the June 2024 closure date,” Katinakis said.
“Between now and then we’ll be upgrading and expanding our 4G coverage to a materially equivalent size and reach to our 3G footprint.
“Most customers will generally notice an improvement in speed when using a compatible device – in many cases a substantial one.
“We are working to assess our product range and all current areas with 3G only coverage in order to give you the best possible experience on 4G and 5G.”