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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Well, it makes a certain amount of sense if the only interests they're considering are their own, and not their customers'.


Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Umm... upgrading the service is not in the customers interest? 


What? No.


It's "Not telling customers when the upgrade will happen" that is not in the customers' interest.


We're on the edge of 3G coverage in an area with no 4G. The upgrade will happen at an unknown time in the next 4 years, and provide similar (no guarantees for same) coverage.


At present we would need a signal booster to get reception, but haven't bought one yet, as we're waiting to see what reception is like after the upgrade (after all, we could get reception after the upgrade, or it could get worse to the point where a signal booster wouldn't work). When should we budget for this expense?


Should people in my family upgrade their phones to VoWifi capable handsets? If the upgrade happens in 2024, then probably they should. If it happens in November 2021, then it's probably not worth it, as we'd install a signal booster that made that unnecessary.


Now Telstra probably know roughly when the upgrade will happen, but they won't tell me (and yes, I've asked) because of the reasons you outlined about possible approval delays making it not in their interest to publish, or even answer questions. But that's very much driven by *their* interests, not mine.

Level 2: Rookie

And when we all go 5G they will bring out 6G then 7 e.t.c., it's all about the dollars.

Level 22: Superhuman
Level 22: Superhuman

Hi @demonic1 


To Telstra's defence, they have spent millions on developing/deploying the 5G technology, and that will take a long time to get back before profits.


The benefit of 5G is if people are going to use it for mobile broadband then the money goes to Telstra, with unlike most of the money goes to the NBN Co with that technology.


And yes, the technology always improves, whether it will be called 6G, 7G in the future, who knows?

Just Registered

Will it work with the new 5g samsung s21ultra

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

@Sexymafia69 will what work? The Samsung S21Ultra will work on the Telstra network.

It's just the 3G component that is being shut down in 2024.

Just Registered

Has Telstra degraded it's 4G reception to manipulate us into buying 5 G phone ?

Level 22: Superhuman
Level 22: Superhuman

@AB777 Absolutely no way any Telco would do that. Not to mention how that would affect MVNO's that Telstra relies on for extra money.

Level 1: Cadet

That’s all well and good, but last time you planned to upgrade the 3G in Caringbah South/Lilli Pilli 2229 you caved in to the council swayed by a minority of the public who fought the proposed small cell in our area. 

The government doesn’t listen to anti vaxxers who spout nonsense. Why do they listen when people scream cancer whenever the word radiation is mentioned? 

I’m resigned to the fact that we’ll have no mobile reception in 2024. I’ll be ringing Channel 9 to demand an explanation how this is possible in Sydney and an area where a lot of healthcare workers are on call and often unreachable.