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Telstra delays 3G network shutdown for good reason


Telstra's extended its 3G network closure to 31 August 2024 so that more people have time to upgrade their devices.

Telstra was meant to shut down its 3G network on 30 June 2024 but there have been growing concerns about people accessing emergency calls before then given there are still thousands of Australians who have yet to upgrade their devices.

Key takeaways

  • The 3G network is 20 years old and will be switched off to boost capacity and data speeds for the faster and more reliable 4G and 5G networks.
  • According to an exclusive from ABC from April 2024, Telstra said 113,000 customers were still using 3G-only phones which will no longer work once the 3G network is shut down.
  • There are also concerns that older 4G mobile phones may also be at risk because they're configured to default to the 3G network for triple-0 calls.
  • Telstra customers who are due for a handset upgrade will hear a short pre-recorded voice message every time they make a call, reminding them to upgrade their phones as soon as possible. The voice message will only disappear once the person has upgraded their phone.

Telstra also has a handy SMS tool that customers can use to determine if their device is impacted. Simply text "3" to 3498 to get a response.

Keep in mind, the 3G network shutdown will also impact a range of devices apart from handsets. These include medical alarms, security devices and EFTPOS machines.

TPG/Vodafone already shut down its 3G network in December 2023. Optus's 3G closure is penned for September 2024.

If you're still feeling overwhlemed or unsure of what actions to take, contact your service provider directly.

Alternatively, The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association has launched a new website called 3G Closure to provide key information and answer frequently asked questions.

Federal Communications Minister Michelle Rowland has also called on the industry to better support customers.

"Supporting Australians' access to Triple Zero is critical," Rowland said in a media release.

"While the Government supports the safe switchover from 3G, it is important Australians are aware that some devices in the mobile market are not appropriately configured to contact emergency services on the 4G network."

Upgrading your handset? It might also be time to compare mobile plans to ensure you're not overpaying for your needs.

Image: @JESHOOTS-com via

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