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 5: Eagle Eye

But I only have a 3G Phone though, will it get swapped on my my 3G Phone?

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

@super11 You will need to buy a new 4G capable phone by mid-2024.


Inside our home our coverage drops to 3G and only 1bar for our mobiles.  What will happen when 3G goes?


Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

The 4G/5G network will be upgrading prior to the closure of the 3G network, so hopefully you will be able to get coverage without the need of a SmartAntenna. Of course, mobile reception is highly dependant on the building materials used in your home, so steel frames, metal roofing, some type of insulation, etc will cause issues with signal penetration.


You could also make sure that you get a mobile that can use VoWifi, that way when you are connected to your home wifi (doesn't have to be Telstra), your phone will be able to make and receive calls and messages via wifi.

Level 3: Gumshoe

Thanks Jupiter, but we also already have a booster or Smart antenna supplied by (or should I say purchased from) Telstra which partially solved our reception problem. No steel in/on our house though a neighbour next door does have a steel roof and, of course, the obligatory steel fence.  Even when being built the builders could only get a fair & unreliable signal in one corner of the house right from the start of construction.  And yes, I do already use VoWifi - if only we had NBN to the premises, that would be good. The NBN speed is not reliable which makes video conferencing impossible, and of course, the signal on a mobile connected to the poor 4G/3G tower rules conferencing out as well.  4 more years waiting?  Of course a new Optus tower has gone up not far from us ......

Level 3: Gumshoe

Optus has channels of 4g where i am that Telstra doesn't have but both cap the speeds. 12mbit max where 300mbit modems have been out half a decade.

Just Registered

It’s pretty simple. Your service is pathetic infer structure **bleep**ed and obsolete, fiber network a disaster and most of all! Customer service is obsolete to telstra. Two years max... telstra will be gone.

Level 21: Augmented

not quite as fussed about the 3G closure as some.

but what is an issue is not having an updated version of the Telstra Discovery flip phone (the only one my wife likes).

using touch screen phones gives her weird sensations (kinda like the static charge issue with rubbing balloons on your head)


so what can you offer my wife as a replacement (and no the pre-paid flip doesnt cut it for functionality).

Level 23: Superhero

There are tens of thousands of medical alarms mostly on 3G that will need to be replaced.

Level 23: Superhero

In my house in inner Melbourne, I struggle with 1 bar of 4G but 5 bars of 3G.

It just seems more of a marketing deal than that of engineering.

There's no way Telstra can improve 4G coverage to that extent,

In America, they keep legacy systems, which is eminently sensible.