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.

Was this helpful?

  • Yes it was, thank you
  • No, I still need help
Level 1: Cadet

I remembered on the 2G shutdown that Telstra offered a free 3G Phone upgrade called "care pack" that came with Telstra cruise handset at the time. Will Telstra be offering basic 4g model care park for this near the closure or will seem unlikely.

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Given that they have given over 4 years notice before the shutdown, it is less likely than with the 2G shutdown.

I guess we will find out in 3 and a half years or so.

Just Registered

I don't get 4G where I live, how will that work when you turn off 3G?

Just Registered

We HAD good reception till our closest aerial hot moved and put us in a black spot.  We got a booster aerial from telstra but we still have to put our phones on 3g or we get no reception.  Does that mean we just have to go without? We have complained so many times only for the last person I spoke to wanted me to promise id never ring about the fault again.....yeah ok, you live with no reception!

Just Registered

So will VoLTE be enabled for all devices that support it? My OnePlus 6 supports it on the phone hardware/software, but it seems low Telstra doesn't allow it to use VoLTE still.

Level 1: Cadet

Can u go into a telstra store and add a apple watch to your account...and do u get it straight away or does it get delivered to u


I have a Samsung Note5 green tick 4G LTE and I cannot believe how often it drops 4G in 4G areas. On the Sandringham line Train (back to 3G or GPRS) Point Nepean road Blairgowrie. The list is longer. I don't understand shutting down 3G when 4G areas are currently not working. I would have thought a green tick phone in Metro Melbourne would hold 4G connection.Too often I lose the 4G symbol on top of my Samsung Note5.

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

@richard593 Trains are a fairly poorly constructed Faraday Cage and block a large portion of radio waves. That is the main reason why you lose coverage.


Telstra will be upgrading it's 4G and 5G network over the next 4 years before the 3G shutoff, so "currently" has very little to do with it.


Also, I'm not sure if the Blue Tick criteria changes much over the years, but the Note 5 is 5 years old now, so you may be seeing some degradation in the electronics components of your device. It may not be performing as well as it did when new.

Just Registered

We live at Bellbuoy Beach, in Tas, which is an area with over 60 houses and another 5 currently under construction but it is a Telstra black spot with no mobile reception and only 3g reception with 1-2 bars, in a couple of spots at the top of a hill where we all have to drive or walk to make phone calls. There is no 4g reception at all.

The Telstra coverage maps for this area are a lie. A Telstra rep needs to come and confirm.

I assume a new tower would be required to provide Bellbuoy Beach with 4g?

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

@Phawk yes, it would probably require a new tower in your area to get decent 4G coverage. Although Telstra has been working with their Technology partners to extend the range of 4G towers, so you might see the effects of those efforts first.


You would be best to voice your concerns by contacting:

Telstra Tasmania 

Regional General Manager
Michael Patterson
Level 8, 70 Collins Street, Hobart Tas 7000