Media Release, 31 July 2012

With a month to go before services are wound down on Telstra’s earlier 3G mobile network, Telstra is encouraging remaining customers to review their device settings and, where necessary, consider an upgrade to a Next G® compatible device.

The earlier 3G network – known as 3GIS – was created as a joint venture with Hutchison in 2004 and has been superseded by the more advanced Telstra Next G Network which offers both 3G and 4G technology. Telstra will cease providing mobile services on the 3GIS network on 31 August.

Mike Wright, Executive Director, Telstra Networks said the change would affect a small proportion of Telstra’s mobile customer base.

“Many of the Telstra customers who remain on the old network use their phone for basic talk and text. For customers who use devices which are not compatible with our Next G network, their devices will continue to work for voice calls, text messages and 2G web browsing in 2G coverage areas. 

“However, customers who use their mobile phone or modem to surf the web will likely experience their data speeds slow if they continue to use a device that operates its 3G functions on the 2100MHz band – rather than the 850MHz band.

“That’s because Telstra uses the 850MHz band to provide 3G coverage across its Next G network footprint – rather than the 2100MHz band used by 3GIS. We’re encouraging customers who use their device in Next G coverage areas to upgrade to Next G compatible handsets and mobile broadband devices so they can take advantage of faster data speeds and wider network coverage,” Mr Wright said.

Mr Wright said the coverage, speeds and services available on the Next G network were far superior to the 3GIS network so it made little sense to continue investing in the old network.

“The 3GIS network provides less than 9000 square kilometres of coverage and is restricted to the metropolitan centres of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and some satellite cities. In contrast, The Telstra Next G Network provides more than 2.2 million square kilometres of coverage and is capable of delivering significantly faster 3G data speeds and now 4G data speeds in select locations. Exiting services on the earlier 3GIS network will allow Telstra to focus its ongoing investment on the Next G network,” Mr Wright said.

With the exception of the LG watch phone – which was sold in limited numbers – more than five years have passed since Telstra last offered mobile devices configured to run their 3G services only on the 3GIS network.

Getting ready for the change
Telstra first started contacting customers affected by the changes in 2010 and in most instances customers will be aware of how to manage the transition. Customers who are yet to prepare for the change are encouraged to:

  1. Check that their device is Next G compatible. To continue to access Telstra 3G services across Telstra’s national 3G network footprint, customers need both a Next G compatible device and Next G coverage. Customers can check that their device is 850MHz compatible (the primary frequency on which Next G network runs) by using Telstra’s online device identifier tool:
  2. Check their device network settings. Some devices currently used on the 3GIS network are actually Next G compatible. However, either because customers have adjusted their settings or because devices were used previously on other mobile networks, they may be set to access the 2100MHz band only. Customers should switch their network settings from ‘3Telstra’ (3G 2100MHz) to ‘Automatic’ to ensure their device connects with the best available network before and after 31 August.
  3. Give us a call if they have any questions. For more information about these changes or to upgrade to a Next G compatible device, customers can call us on:
  4. 13 2200 for residential Post-Paid enquiries
  5. 125 8880 for Pre-Paid enquiries
  6. 13 2000 or your Account Executive for Telstra Business enquiries
  7. Customers with hearing aids are encouraged to contact Telstra’s Disability Services team on 1800 286 980 to discuss suitable device options.