3G closure - what do I need to know?

We’re extending our 3G network closure to 31 August 2024, to allow people more time to upgrade their devices.

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    We're switching off 3G on 31 August 2024

    Learn more about what this means and what action you need to take. We also have dedicated 3G closure support for enterprise and support for wholesale customers.
     

    What does this mean for me?

    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.

    • If you have a device that can only use 3G, you won’t be able to connect to Telstra's network after 31 August 2024. 
    • If your mobile device doesn't have Voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology, even if it uses 4G data, it will not be able to make voice calls on our network after 31 August 2024. 
    • Not all VoLTE enabled devices support emergency VoLTE calling, meaning they will not be able to make an emergency call to 000 once 3G closes. 
    • If we contacted you about this, your device is affected. Without taking the recommended action you won't be able to connect to a network after 31 August 2024.

    Try our new SMS device checker tool. 

    For Telstra customers: To find out if your mobile phone is impacted SMS 3 to 3498

    What should I do now?

    Select your device type and follow the steps to stay connected.

    VoLTE compatible phones and wearables sold by Telstra after January 2019 do not need any action. For other devices, follow these steps:

    1. Check your device

    2. Check device software

    3. Check your settings

    4. Need a new phone?

    If we haven’t covered it, don’t hesitate to message 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, you may still be able to use data or make voice calls using the cellular feature on your smart watch, but the service may work intermittently.

    Some kids smart watches are simply not compatible at all, and would need to be replaced. Explore devices

    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:

    1. Apple Watch Series 3
    2. Apple Watch Series 4
    3. Apple Watch Series 5
    4. Galaxy Watch
    5. 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.

    If we haven’t covered it, don’t hesitate to message us.

    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.

    Read more about the new equipment you'll need to continue your home or business phone service.

    If we haven’t covered it, don’t hesitate to message us.

    3G Internet of Things (IoT) devices will no longer connect to our mobile network from 31 August 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.

    If we haven’t covered it, don’t hesitate to message us.

    External antennas

    External antennas are designed for a certain band or frequency. Using an antenna that isn't compatible with the right frequency in your location will impact your service and performance.

    Here are a couple of ways to check your external antenna:

    1. The elements on a 3G-only antenna are typically all the same length, where a 4G-capable antenna has elements of varying length and is arrow shaped.
    2. Check the labels on your antenna. If you see a code starting with an 8, or one with frequencies starting with an 8, they are 3G-only. 824 to 890 MHz is 3G-only.
    3. If you have the make and model, look up your antenna specifications. Check they cover the 4G frequency band ranges for:
      • Band 28 (Frequency range 703 to 803MHz)
      • Band 3 (Frequency range 1710 to 1880MHz).
         

    GO Repeaters

    We also encourage you to check your GO Repeater settings.

    Telstra GO Repeaters (GO G31, GO G41 and GO ROAM R41) operate on both 3G and 4G and will not be impacted when 3G closes on 31 August 2024. However, in some instances they may have been configured to only operate on 3G.

    To check your GO Repeater settings:

    1. Download the CEL-FI WAVE app from Google Play or the Apple App Store on your smartphone
    2. Open the app and ensure you're close to your GO Repeater so it can connect via bluetooth
    3. Select Settings
    4. Choose Band settings
    5. Under Technology, select 4G if not already selected.
       

    Smart antennas

    Some Smart antennas will not work post the 3G closure and will need to be replaced: 

    • Telstra Smart Antennas with serial numbers beginning with 12.
    • Cel-fi RS2 (3G Only)
    • Cel-fi RS250 (3G Only)
       

    Telstra 4G Smart Antennas support both 3G and 4G Bands: 3G 850, 4G 700 and 1800 MHz (one 4G band at a time).
     

    Important

    Telstra can provide a professional installation. The costs vary depending on the location, so it is best to call and discuss a quote first.

    Contact our Wireless Order Management team on 1800 305 307.

    Once the 3G network closes, any device that can only connect to 3G will no longer be able to send a signal, initiate a data session, voice call or send an SMS.

    This means if somebody needs medical help and presses an alert button that relies on 3G, the alert will not be sent. This could delay emergency response.

    If your device supports 4G, in most cases it will continue to work. However, if it can make or receive voice calls, you'll also need to check with the supplier you purchased it from whether it supports Voice over LTE (VoLTE). Some older devices do not support voice over the 4G network.

    If you do have a 3G-only device, or one that doesn't support VoLTE, changing the SIM doesn't affect the device’s ability to access the 4G network.

    We recommend contacting your device manufacturer or supplier to confirm:

    1. 4G frequency band 28 (700 MHz) is built into the device. Without this, the device may not connect to our 4G network
    2. Your device supports Voice over LTE (VoLTE).

    If we haven’t covered it, don’t hesitate to message us.

    Frequently asked questions

    How does this affect me?

    No, as we will no longer have 3G mobile coverage from 31 August 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 31 August 2024. We also have more information about enabling VoLTE (Voice over LTE) on your mobile phone.

    We’re almost done upgrading the network so all 3G sites have equivalent 4G coverage.

    If you currently only receive a 3G signal, or you’re using a device older than 2019, it’s time to look at upgrading. All new 4G/5G VoLTE capable phones will work on the 3G network where required.

    Use the SMS tool to check your device’s compatibility and if you need to upgrade, we’d encourage you to do it today.

    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.

    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 31 August 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 31 August 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.

    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 31 August 2024.

    If you hear a recorded message on your phone about our 3G network closure, you have a device that needs to be upgraded to stay connected after the network closes.

    You’ll hear the message if your device relies on the 3G network, doesn’t support Voice over 4G (VoLTE), or is 4G-enabled but uses 3G for emergency calls.

    We can’t remove the message, as it’s vitally important to ensure you’re using a device capable of contacting Triple Zero after we close the 3G network on 31 August.

    Once you’ve upgraded, the message will be removed, but it may take up to 24 hours to do so.

    To upgrade now, explore our devices or message us for further assistance.

    Note: Calls to Triple Zero before the network closure won’t play the recorded message.

    Important

    Do not test your phone by calling Triple Zero (000). Only call Triple Zero in a genuine emergency.

    More information

    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.

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

    • Find a store to drop them off – just look for the “MobileMuster” collection point
    • Go to MobileMuster 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.

    If you have incompatible devices you're no longer using, see our options for recycling your device.

    If we contacted you directly about an incompatible device, our records show it might be connected to an active service on your account incurring monthly charges. If you have a service you're no longer using, you can cancel it in the My Telstra app, or message us for further assistance.

    As with any device upgrade, it's important to remember that your existing SIM card may not fit in your new device. Don't worry, you'll still be able to keep your phone number.

    If you think you might need a new SIM card, book ahead and visit your local store for some assistance, or give us a call on 13 22 00.

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