Three to turn 3G OFF for millions of customers

THREE has announced that it is shutting down its 3G network after more than 20 years.

The provider was the first company to introduce 3G back in 2003.
3G no more

3G no morePhoto credit: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

But times have moved on and the focus is now on super-fast 5G.

The company has announced that it will switch off 3G completely by the end of 2024.

It claims this will free up resources so it can focus on improving 4G and roll out 5G further under a £2billion commitment.

But the plan will leave some customers without any internet access.

If you have an older 3G device, you’ll need to upgrade if you want to keep going online.

On this website you can check if your phone can use 4G or 5G.

According to Three, fewer and fewer people are using 3G — so much so that 5G usage has now surpassed it.

It comes to recent concerns that cars that rely on 3G for important safety functions could also be affected.
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Other networks such as EE and Vodafone have already committed to phasing out 3G by 2023.

It’s well ahead of an industry-wide target of 2033 – although that includes 2G network.

Although 2G is even older, it will last longer as it still offers wide coverage.
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David Hennessy, Three’s Chief Technology Officer, said: “As we continue to expand our ultra-fast connectivity, not only by upgrading our existing 4G sites, but also by building new 5G sites, we will be able to increase our usage of 3G to shut down our network across the board by the end of 2024.”

As the 3G shutdown date approaches, Three has pledged to work with all customers still using a 3G phone to ensure they stay connected.
Three was the first company to roll out 3G in the UK in 2003

Three was the first company to roll out 3G in the UK in 2003Credit: Alamy

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