Goodbye 3G

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

We will be switching off 3G in mid-2024. While this is still a while away, we’re making the announcement now so our customers have plenty of time to change to newer devices if they have a 3G only device, or a 4G device that doesn’t have Voice over LTE (VoLTE) capability.


We launched 3G in 2005 and it was cutting edge technology at the time. We now offer our customers extensive 4G coverage which provides vastly better data speeds and improved customer experience for streaming sport and entertainment and using graphics and video rich social media platforms. We have now also launched the next generation of mobile technology 5G which will bring advancements in mobile gaming, virtual reality experiences, HD video conferencing and other applications not yet even contemplated.

As customers increasingly move from 3G to take up the benefits of newer technology we will be repurposing the 850MHz spectrum, currently used to provide 3G coverage, to support our 5G rollout. This will let us grow and improve our delivery of next generation 5G technology.


 +  Coverage

  • For our customers in a 3G only coverage area, we plan to establish 4G coverage in all 3G only areas by the time of 3G closure. The new 4G coverage will be similar in size and reach as pre-existing 3G coverage.   


Want to know more about devices?

 +  General

  • You can research your device specifications online to check if any of your devices are affected.

    If you have a device that is only able to connect to 3G, that device will no longer be able to connect after the closure date in 2024, and therefore you will need to upgrade your device. If you have brought your own (BYO) device to use on the Telstra Mobile Network, we will do our best to help you upgrade to 4G mobile technology or LTE-M/NB-IoT where relevant for IoT use cases.

    If you have a device that can connect by 4G, it should continue to keep working post closure unless the device does not support Voice over LTE ( VoLTE). If you have one of these devices you will be able to access data but not make a phone call.

    If your 4G phone has voice calling capability, you can find instructions for how to enable it here.


 +  Prepaid Mobile

  • 3G closure will not affect your prepaid recharge or phone plans.

  • As at October 2019, we have the below impacted devices in market:

    • Telstra Lite - This a 3G only capable device, that will not be able to make calls or data after the network closure.

    • Telstra Flip 2 - This is a 4GX capable device, however, it does not support Voice over LTE (VOLTE). All voice calls operate on the 3G Network. This device will not be able to make voice calls after the network closure, however, they can still use data.

    • Telstra EasyCall 4 - This a 3G only capable device, that will not be able to make calls or data after the network closure.

    • Alcatel U5 3G - This a 3G only capable device, that will not be able to make calls or data after the network closure.
    • Boost Alcatel U3 3G - This a 3G only capable device, that will not be able to make calls or data after the network closure. 


  • If you have recently bought a prepaid device that will be impacted by the 3G closure, please be aware it will be compatible with the Telstra mobile network until we close the service in mid-2024.

    If you have further questions, please contact us on 24x7Chat.


 +  Tablets

  • As at October 2019, we have the below impacted tablet in market:

    • Telstra Essentials Tablet - This is a 4G capable device, however, it does not support Voice over LTE (VOLTE). All voice calls operate on the 3G Network. This device will not be able to make voice or receive voice calls after the network closure, however, the device can still use data.


 +  Wearables

  • The current generation of smartwatches has a cellular feature which allows the watch to operate in standalone mode. This means you can make and receive calls or use data using the smartwatch without having to carry a smartphone.

    While these watches are 4G compatible, they do not support our main 4G mobile coverage frequency band (700 MHz, also known as band 28). Once we turn off 3G in 2024, these smart watches will only work on a limited set of 4G spectrum bands, and as a result, may experience a reduction in Telstra mobile network coverage.

    So what does this mean for you?
    Essentially, you’ll still be able to use data or make voice calls using the cellular feature on your smartwatch, but the service may work intermittently on our mobile network. When your watch is connected to your mobile handset via Bluetooth, your experience will be based on your handset’s network capability.

  • The versions impacted are:

    • Apple Watch Series 3 38mm
    • Apple Watch Series 3 42mm
    • Apple Watch Series 4 40mm
    • Apple Watch Series 4 44mm
    • Apple Watch Series 5 40mm
    • Apple Watch Series 5 44mm
    • Galaxy Watch 46mm
    • Galaxy Watch 42mm
    • Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 - 40mm
    • Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 - 44mm

  • You can also check your device manual or search online to find out what network capability they support.


 +  IOT

  • If you have recently invested in 3G IOT devices, please note; There are still four and a half years before these devices will no longer be able to connect to the mobile network.

    Where deployed devices have an expected lifetime beyond the planned 3G closure date we will work with you to plan for the replacement of your devices and in a manner consistent with any specific contractual obligations we have with you and with the Australian Consumer Law.

    Telstra has a broad range of 4G devices already certified and available. We suggest you speak to your Telstra representative to discuss what is right for you.

    Device manufacturers are already adopting these modules into their devices, and as of July 2019, Telstra has certified 4G devices in the following areas, with other applications expected to follow in the next 12-24 months:

    • Eftpos terminals
    • Industrial routers
    • Scanners
    • Security Monitoring
    • Telematics
    • Asset Tracking
    • Environment Monitoring


  • Please contact your device manufacturer or Telstra representative for more information.

    We expect that most typical IoT use cases (devices) will have a 4G LTE or LPWAN migration solution within the next 24 months.

    We are unable to comment on the timings for individual device manufacturers. However, we are confident that manufacturers that do not currently have compatible devices, will have compatible devices available well before the 3G closure date.


 +  Home Internet

  • You will not see any impact on your fixed home internet services.

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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

@Tim118 you would be better off contacting your local council and the Planning Minister to get an explanation. The council has to issue a planning permit for tower installation and upgrades, but ultimately the Planning Minister has the ability to overrule.

Level 1: Cadet

My problem is  that I can't even get 3G where I am and certainly no coverage inside my home and yet we have a tower about 1+ 1/2 km away.  I cannot afford a new aerial or just go outside in wi ter

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

@jw4 are you sure it's a Telstra Tower? What is its' location and what model phone are you using? You should be getting at least 3 bars of coverage being that close if it's line of sight.

Just Registered

April 2021. I have had 4g phone for a while and the latest booster aerial in a rural area and still only get 3g. This is really common for anywhere outside a town. When will telstra acknowlege this huge problem. Not many households can get nbn either and will not ever be able to. . Problems seem to be getting worse

Level 1: Cadet

We were told a few years ago that the tower was telstra and things seem to be going along ok - not perfect but ok.  that was only 3G.  I have a 4G Samsung phone so what can I do now

If 3G is going soon I have been told to try WiFi but I don't understand how this works.  I am in a country area in South Australia at the bottom end near Corny Point.

It seems to me that Telstra need to get their act together or you will loose many country clients.  BUT DO THEY CARE?  I'M NOT SURE!

GIVE ME SOME HOPEFUL INFO   **********PLEASE ************

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

@Robwin @jw4  The 3G shutdown is still 3 years away, so there is still plenty of work that needs to be done. All Telstra 3G towers will be upgraded, and they are currently rolling out updates to 4G towers that can double the range of those towers. Don't panic yet.


There is a new transmitter proposed for Warooka (on the existing NBN tower) which might improve reception at Corny Point (but it is still 17km away, so it's stretching the friendship a bit - the new range extending tech will help).


The issue with saying "the 3G shutdown is still 3 years away" is that when this thread was started, it was "the 3G shutdown is still 5 years away", and not much seems to have happened in the interim. Perhaps that's just around here on the NSW north coast, but I fully expect that in a year, it will be "the 3G shutdown is still 2 years away", then 'the 3G shutdown is still a year away".


Its always jam tomorrow, never jam today for rural areas.


There are also still plenty of areas up around here on the Pacific Highway that are shown as already having 4G coverage, which in reality are only 3G or zero coverage. Couldn't count how many conversations from the car are all "Can you hear me?" "You're breaking up" "I'll be home at 6" "Nope didn't get that at all" "HOME AT 6!!!" "Nope, still didn't get that, call me later when you're closer to a town". At least when 3G goes, a lot of those will just never connect in the first place.

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

@Ted_ I use voice recognition on my phone to send my wife or kids an SMS when driving if calls are unreliable.


But there are upgrades happening in a lot of places, I'm in regional Victoria (Gippsland) and we've just had a new 4GX tower installed about 3 months ago, which is due to have 5G added shortly. There have also been a number of upgrade happen between here and the NSW border, both 4G upgrades and 5G additions.


If you want to find out what the plans are for your specific area (or to voice your concerns about blackspots), I would be contacting the Telstra Regional Australia Manager for Northern NSW.

Regional General Manager
Michael Marom
10-13 Racecourse Road
Ballina NSW 2478


Been there, done that. Wasn't helpful. I mean, he was nice and all, but couldn't give me any concrete information beyond "before mid-2024".

Level 1: Cadet

The tower is on the Corny Point Road just past the intersection of the Hundred Lines Road, which leads to The Pines where I live.