3G is closing, but it’s not going anywhere until June 2024

In October 2019 we announced our 3G network would close in June 2024. A lot has happened since our October 2019 announcement.
Nikos Katinakis · 15 April 2021 · 3 minute read

It’s a big step in the evolution of our mobile network, and although it’s still more than three years away, we have heard some concerns about how we can all be best prepared for the transition off 3G. We’ve got some answers to the questions we’ve been hearing.

What will coverage be like after the 3G shutdown?

We are continuing planning and upgrades of our mobile network and new 4G coverage will be similar in size and reach as pre-existing 3G coverage.

As we complete these upgrades, you may notice some changes to the signal bars on your phone. But remember: fewer bars doesn’t mean less service.

Additionally, we are working to repurpose the spectrum that is used for our 3G services and reallocate it to 5G to meet future data needs.

What do you have to do for the 3G shutdown?

With more than three years until the eventual closure of 3G there is plenty of time to be prepared.

For many customers there won’t be anything to worry about. Most modern phones have both 3G and 4G capability. This means your phone will continue to work on our 4G band as before.

However, if you are still using a 3G only device, (or 4G device without VoLTE capability) you may wish to consider an upgrade between now and 2024 to a 4G VoLTE device or a 5G capable device.

Changing phones doesn’t need to break the bank, and it’s more than likely you’ll need to upgrade within the next three years anyway. Switching from 3G to 4G provides a noticeable improvement in your download speeds and call quality/reliability, also. Explore our full list of compatible phones.

What if I’m an enterprise, government agency or agribusiness customer?

For our agribusiness and enterprise customers, being prepared for the 3G closure may be different. There are a myriad of devices from sensors, to EFTPOS and M2M devices that work only on 3G .

Many device manufacturers have already started to progressively upgrade their products to be 4G–compatible. If you haven’t already, start speaking with us or your product manufacturer to see what is available.

There’s still plenty of time, and we’ll work with you around any concerns you have about changing devices or technology types to be ready for the 3G closure.

You can find more information on our 3G shutdown, which goes into further detail about the closure. We’re also working to demystify regional coverage questions, how our mobile network functions, and what those bars on your phone mean and why they change when you move around on Telstra Exchange.

Rest assured, however, that we have been here before, and we have transitioned network technologies before when we closed our 2G network at the end of 2016.

You won’t be left in communications darkness when 3G does eventually close.

We are here to help, and importantly, there is still plenty of time to be ready.


By Nikos Katinakis

Group Executive, Networks & IT

Relocating from Toronto, Nikos Katinakis joined Telstra on 15 October 2018 as Group Executive Networks & IT. In this critical role Nikos is responsible for ensuring Telstra delivers next generation network technologies to create the largest, smartest, safest and most reliable networks in the world. This includes rolling out new technology developments, such as those related to 5G, as well as maintaining and enhancing Telstra’s IT platforms. Nikos was previously Executive Vice President Networks for Reliance Jio in India where he was responsible for rolling out the first pan-India 4G LTE Network, with a focus on data management, and enhancing and stabilising the various operating platforms. In his second Jio assignment, Nikos led their wireline/fixed consumer business with the objective to launch full commercial services across major cities in India, while fully automating and simplifying workflows and the customer experience. Prior to this, Nikos was SVP of Architecture and Technology Development for Network and IT at Canada’s Rogers Communications, as well as Chief Information Security Officer, where he was responsible for the technology strategy, selection, and roadmap that guided Rogers’ deployment of next generation capabilities across all access networks and services.

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