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 1: Cadet

Well I did think that, but it so frustrating not having a good connection. There is a booster near the house but even then it drops out most calls. Why on earth can't the government look after the remote areas better. its all about NBN in the city and city people complain constantly if they don't have a fast speed, when just a phone connection would be good in the rural areas.

Level 2: Rookie

I agree Telstra is **bleep**

Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Why? Because technology progresses and gets better and people expect access to the newer technology and in turn the newer technology provides more possibility, but, there is only so many frequencies that can be used so they have to recycle them to give them more for improving. 

also, given we are talking 4 years away, most phones sold now are 4G compatible so would be fine if they also support volte but the majority of people will likely update their phones within the next 4 years anyways as most phones don’t last that long 1-3 years is average. 

Level 2: Rookie

So.....5G rolled out for a few elites at Goulburn University. The campus is in a valley and with the coverage for 5G at around 2 Km with line-of-site, that means a large number of Goulburnians have no chance of using the improved bandwidth and speed of service on offer. Brilliant!  Coupled with a disastrous Black Spot program that has probably been hijacked by coastal towns effected by Bushfires and inland centres effected by floods...the long suffering regions are left to suffer regular poor QOS and Australia (the smart country!)


According to the Telstra coverage map, 2km NW of  Birregurra, I am smack dab in the middle of the 3g/4g network, but my new Mobile Hot Spot modem/dongle ( Huawei E5377) that broardcast the 700, 1800, 2100, and 2600mhz frequencies, will only show "NO SERVICE", but my friends Optus sim in the same device will get service.  Only when I travel to town 2km can I get a Telstra service. Does this mean Optus is better than Telstra?

Level 1: Cadet

I have problems believing what I read in relation to 5G. Coverage in general, in the Maryborough Qld area is comparable to 2 Milo tins connected via string. 4G is unable to handle the traffic, so it drops back to 3G which also fails. We are then disconnected from any service. As I type this comment I have 1 (one) bar.

I understand that priority is placed with capital cities, though the potential draw of regional customers must be in the hundreds of thousands. (More profit dollars)

Approximately 12 months ago I was advised by Telstra Sales Staff to upgrade my equipment which had recently reached contractual completion. I took their advice, though you would never know. My then problem of 12 months simply has extended to being my problem of 24 months.


My connections are via 20 GB on phone, 5Gb on tablet and 100Gb via Netgear Nighthawk 11 Mobile Router. Because of buffering and dropouts, there is not enough days in a month to use the paid for allocation.


I commute regularly between Brisbane and Maryborough, no problems when in Brisbane.


I am 72 years of age. I hope that 5G or an efficient and reliable service arrives before I depart.

Just Registered

Will the variability of coverage for Apple watches after the change be less severe in metropolitain areas or will it apply to all areas equally?

Just Registered

just wondering when all the deadspots and 3g accessable areas of regonal, rural and remote australia will have propper reliable service. I live in these areas and when we are travelling there is no service for most of the trip until we get closer to bigger towns. 

Level 3: Gumshoe

Both my husband's IPhone 6 and my IPhone 6 only get 1 or 2 bar reception, never full reception! So will 5G fix this reception or are we going to have to get new mobiles?

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

@Twinkles1 , your phone can't use the 5G network, it doesn't have the necessary hardware.