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?

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just tried with a vodafone prepaid card in my huawei mate 20 and VOLTE and VOWIFI worked straight away.


this page here indicates which handsets are supported on what networks


i really have an unanswered question around why it is so hard for VOLTE standardisation on android


Just Registered

I live in a 4G serviced area, however the service is so weak (even though it’s a close suburb of Brisbane) that the phones often rely on 3G. 3G is slow and pretty useless for internet these days so I won’t miss that. Telstra will need to ensure any weak signal areas of Brisbane get additional towers to support 4G better. This should happen now and not just when 3G is shut off. We need 4G in our metropolis areas as we pay good money for it and live close to cities to get these “luxuries” . 

Level 22: Superhuman
Level 22: Superhuman

I wish they would bring back 2G, which worked the best in my area :-)


And 5G, misses me totally :-(




Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

@Ozmoz hopefully that will improve for you once they switch the 850MHz UMTS band over to 5G service in your area. We had a tower go up last week. Just waiting for it to be commissioned.

Just Registered

It is dissapointing that in the area that I reside there is extremely poor 4G service and get constant drop outs. I have mad enquiery's with telstra on many occasions that there is an issue for many of our residents that have to exit there house and find a place to even make a voice call. The area is Placid Hills 4343 QLD. Can someone please contact me in regards to this as when the 3G is turned off with the current infrastructure in place, VOLTE is not enough to even make a call.

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

@GT1214 3G isn't being turned off until mid 2024, so there is plenty of time. Your best bet is to contact the Telstra Regional Australia Office in your State.


Does Telstra publish a 4G rollout plan for current 3G only areas? It would be great to be able to know when the rollout is going to happen, in more detail than "sometime before mid-2024" and "probably about the same coverage". We live in a large 3G only area west of Bellingen, NSW, where even getting 3G is flaky (we get 1 bar 3G outdoors at our house about 1% of the time, but 2 bars at our letterbox 200m away about 80% of the time). Got VoLTE, but over ADSL1.

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

@Ted_ there are no published plans. I think you mean you get VoWifi over ADSL, VoLTE requires a mobile network 4G data connection.


I did mean VoWifi - slip of the fingers ;-)


Amazing that there are no published plans for completing the 4G rollout.

Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Telstra would have their rollouts planned and accounted for, but it is generally not published. Once the tower is ready to be built there is a paper trail for it, new towers still need things like council approvals in many cases and then are registered with ACMA. 

To me, because of the changes or delays that could happen in the process it makes sense to not publish it all publicly until they are ready.