3G closure - what do I need to know?

It’s time to say goodbye to 3G as we evolve our network to provide an improved experience for customers across Australia.

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    We’re switching off 3G from 30 June 2024

    The demand for mobile services continues to increase, so we’re taking steps to reduce congestion, increase capacity and improve coverage.

    For that to happen, we’re removing our oldest mobile technology - 3G - and repurposing it to expand our faster 5G network.

    For dedicated enterprise and wholesale customer support, please visit:

    What does closure of the 3G network mean for me?

    If you have a device that’s only able to connect to 3G, you won’t be able to connect to Telstra’s network after 30 June 2024.

    If your mobile device doesn’t have Voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology, even if it uses 4G, it will not be able to make voice calls on our network after 30 June 2024.

    If your device doesn’t support VoLTE emergency calling, you will not be able to make an emergency call to 000 on the Telstra Mobile Network.

    To continue using our network, you’ll need to upgrade to a 4G/5G VoLTE-capable and compatible device before 30 June 2024. That will ensure you can access Telstra’s network and will have both data access and voice calling.

    Find out more about VoLTE, including what it is, what devices are compatible, and how to check or enable VoLTE on your phone.

    Customers using 3G mobile, IoT and network extension devices, some EFTPOS machines, medical devices and antennas that operate on the 3G network only will be able to continue using their device or antenna until 30 June 2024. After this date, if the device has not been updated to be 4G or 5G compatible, it will no longer work.

    What are we doing to help?

    We’re building out our 4G coverage, so that where you can get 3G today, you’ll be able to get 4G.

    We may have already contacted you about the closure. We’ll be in touch with affected customers again through November, March and May.

    We’ll let you know about devices that need upgrading, including mobile phones, tablets and laptops, smart watches and wearables, Mobile Broadband modems, Internet of Things and M2M devices, repeaters and smart antennas, medical alert devices and NextG Wireless Link devices – anything that only connects to the Telstra mobile network through 3G.

    What can you do now?

    We want you to be prepared well ahead of time. Here’s how you can do that:

    Check if your device shows 4G or 5G

    An easy way to check if your device is compatible is to look for ‘4G’ or ‘5G’ on the screen. If it only says ‘3G’ now or when you make a voice call, you probably need to replace it to stay connected.

    Check your device settings

    Check your device network is set to ‘automatic’. If it isn’t, follow the steps below to update it:

    Apple devices

    1. Go to Settings
    2. Go to Mobile
    3. Go to Mobile Data options
    4. Go to Voice and Data
    5. Select automatic. If automatic isn’t an option, select 4G.

    Android devices

    1. Go to Settings
    2. Go to Network and internet
    3. Go to Mobile Network
    4. Go to Preferred network type
    5. Select automatic. If automatic isn’t an option, select 4G.

    Recycle your old device

    There are several options available to help you recycle old mobiles, chargers, and accessories.

    • Drop them off at any Telstra store – just look for the “mobile muster” collection point
    • Use the mobile muster website to find your nearest collection point
    • Mail your old device to mobile muster for recycling. Satchels are available from your local Australia Post office or JB Hi-Fi store.

    Ask us for help

    If you still have questions, take a look at our 3G closure frequently asked questions. If we haven’t covered it, don’t hesitate to contact us.

    Devices and services affected

    Once we close our 3G network, you’ll need a compatible 4G mobile phone to continue using your mobile service. Check if your mobile phone or tablet is compatible.

    If you have further questions, please contact us.

    Many smart watches and wearables can operate in “standalone” mode. This means you can make and receive calls or use data without having to carry a smartphone.

    While most smart watches and wearables are 4G compatible, some do not support our main 4G frequency band, 700 MHz (also known as B28). Once we turn off 3G from 30 June 2024, these devices will only work on a limited set of 4G frequencies and as a result, may experience a reduction in Telstra mobile network coverage.

    You’ll still be able to use data or make voice calls using the cellular feature on your device, but the service may work intermittently on our mobile network. When your smart watch or wearable is connected to your mobile handset via Bluetooth, your experience will be based on your handset’s network capability.

    Impacted devices include:

    • Apple Watch Series 3
    • Apple Watch Series 4
    • Apple Watch Series 5
    • Galaxy Watch
    • Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2

    Newer Apple and Samsung watches with cellular capability do support 4G on 700MHz (Band 28).

    Check your device manual or search online to determine which 4G frequencies your device supports.

    NextG Wireless Link (NGWL) uses our mobile network to provide home phone services to some customers in remote and rural Australia.

    Where NGWL utilises the 3G network, we’ll upgrade those services to be 4G compatible before the 3G closure.

    Most customers will be migrated to a 4G solution, which includes our Smart Modem and a compatible antenna.

    NGWL upgrades started in 2023 and we’ll be in touch shortly with more information, before scheduling an appointment to upgrade your service.

    3G Internet of Things (IoT) devices will no longer connect to our mobile network from 30 June 2024.

    We urge you to replace those devices now, well in advance of the closure date.

    Telstra has a broad range of 4G IoT devices already certified and available. Speak to your Telstra representative to discuss the device alternatives that best fit your requirements.

    Telstra has certified a wide range of compatible devices, with new devices being added monthly. These include:

    • EFTPOS terminals
    • Industrial routers
    • Scanners
    • Security monitoring
    • Telematics
    • Asset Tracking
    • Environment monitoring

    Learn more about Telstra IoT/M2M Certified Embedded Modules and Integrated Devices (PDF, 394KB)

    Please encourage your device manufacturer or IoT service provider to have their portfolio Telstra Network-certified by contacting us at telstrawirelessm2mhardware@team.telstra.com, or ask your Telstra representative for more information.

    We’re unable to comment on the timings for individual device manufacturers. However, we strongly recommend you discuss the benefits of the Telstra IoT Advantage and Device Certification programs as an integral part of your Business Continuity Plan with your IoT hardware supplier.

    Frequently asked questions

    It's about providing a better experience for our customers.

    When we launched 3G in 2006, we used our mobile devices for calls, texting and accessing basic information online. Since then, technology and customer usage has significantly changed, and so too must our network. Traffic on our 3G network has declined significantly and continues to as we adopt newer and better technologies.

    Closing our 3G network allows us to repurpose spectrum to support our 5G rollout and open the door to more digital opportunities.

    No, 3G-only mobile devices will not work on Telstra’s 4G network. Contact us for help with any concerns about changing devices or technology types.

    No, as we will no longer have 3G mobile coverage from 30th June 2024.

    Mobile devices have special roaming capabilities when calling Triple Zero (000). In instances where another carrier has 3G coverage, you may still be able to make a 000 call. However, it’s important to note that other carriers are likewise closing their 3G network in similar timeframes to Telstra.

    We strongly encourage all customers to ensure that they have a 4G/5G VoLTE capable and compatible device before 30th June 2024. We also have more information about enabling VoLTE (Voice over LTE) on your mobile phone.

    Some 4G devices, particularly devices originally sourced from overseas markets, are not compatible with all of Telstra’s 4G frequencies. It’s important to make sure you select a device that is compatible with Telstra’s 4G/5G network. If you live in a regional or rural area, we recommend you select a Telstra Blue Tick device.

    If you use your device to make and receive voice calls, from 30 June 2024 it must support VoLTE, and have VoLTE enabled in the settings.

    Find out more about VoLTE, including what it is, what devices are compatible, and how to check or enable VoLTE on your phone.

    Voice over LTE (VoLTE) lets you make phone calls over our 4G (LTE) network. Your mobile device will use 4G to make and receive these calls in areas where 4G (LTE) is available. When our 3G network closes on 30 June 2024, VoLTE will be required to make or receive phone calls on the Telstra mobile network. It’s important to note that:

    • 3G phones do not have VoLTE; and
    • not all 4G phones have VoLTE and/or are compatible with the Telstra network.

    If you have a 3G mobile device, you must upgrade to a 4G/5G mobile device that is VoLTE capable and compatible prior to 30 June 2024.

    If you already have a 4G mobile device, we strongly recommend that you check that your device is VoLTE capable and compatible. Find out how to check and enable VoLTE.

    Your network experience should improve, and in most cases you’ll notice a substantial improvement in speeds when you move from 3G-only coverage to 4G coverage.

    Our 4G service accesses greater bandwidth and is more efficient than 3G, leading to higher end-user speeds.

    The speed you experience is determined by a range of factors including how close you are to a tower, how much traffic the site is carrying, if there’s any obstructions impeding the network (i.e. buildings, hills, vegetation etc.) and what sort of device you’re using.

    In areas that currently only have a 3G signal, we’re committed to providing 4G coverage before the closure of the 3G network.

    We’ve been rapidly rolling out and adjusting our 4G and 5G networks over the past few years to ensure we have equivalent coverage available ahead of the 3G closure.

    This involves upgrading all existing 3G sites with 4G technology, adding new 4G sites, and optimising others to create equivalent 4G coverage in areas that 3G coverage exists today. As we approach 3G closure, further changes in network software will also be made to optimise our existing 4G.

    To access the benefits of our 4G network, you need to be using compatible devices. This includes using appropriate devices for your requirements – for example, if currently using a Blue Tick 3G device you’ll need a Blue Tick 4G device, or if currently relying on a 3G T-Go or TMSA coverage extension device, you’ll need an equivalent 4G device to ensure equivalent coverage.

    Our 3G network will remain open until 30 June 2024.

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