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 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

@jw4 the tower you're referring to is an NBN Tower, but there is no upgrade proposed for that one. There is also a transmitter at the phone exchange, but that is for the exchange systems, not the mobile network.


The proposed upgrade is for the NBN Tower on White Hut Rd, near Point Souttar Rd.

Level 4: Private Eye

Where I live in rural Victoria 4g is complete crap so when 3g is gone being just as crap as it were 2g and there's only 4g maybe then CB Radio will be the in thing instead

Level 4: Private Eye

elon musks satellite internet is running a trial in aussieland soon and there's no landline and minimum 50 gbits/s screw dodgy network blackspots altogether uses voip satellite 4g is really upgraded 3g and 5g isn't much faster than 4g its just weak as p155 signal gain.


That's bad news for me. Telstra in theory 'upgraded' our area (Forbes Creek NSW) to 4G by installing a small cell tower in November 2019 which only connects to the network via satellite. While the download rate (earlier this morning) looks impressive at over 17 mbps the latency (ping rate) to the satellite is terrible (this morning 643ms). I measured the latency last year over about 8 weeks,  latency averaged around 700 ms per day, on one day it was 1431. The latency causes many applications to 'time out' and fail, the pause to initially load internet pages in terrible and makes the internet almost unusable. So much so I had to set my modem to only accept a 3G signal (to bypass the 4G only small cell) and use an external roof aerial to pick a fringe signal from Captain's flat (a proper tower) were the latency (earlier today) was only 22ms and speed is about 6mbps. Voice calls are also bad through the small cell, the latency is so bad callers 'over talk' each other (like International direct dialing calls 30 years ago). If 3G at Captains Flat is turned off, I will only have the 4G small cell tower as my only option, I hope Telstra improves its technology by 2024, or I have another service provider by then.

Level 4: Private Eye

Mobile Phone Wireless technology gets to where wired cannot however it is heavily congested with android / iPhone spyware apps and if one doesn't have the latest protocols in their equipment; slower protocols have 3rd rate priority. Simply put there needs to be an asserted network system where phones and computers have separate nodes so the computer don't suffer latency (laptops, desktops) and mobiles (phones, tablets) don't cancel out each others needs with bottlenecks. Its marketing at its best. Not just residential and business.

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

@ZapbuzZ phone calls and data already use different streams within the mobile data bandwidth, so impact of one over the other is already minimised.

Just Registered

Are you crazy????

Most of rural Australia has no hope whatsoever to get 4G everywhere there is 3G now! You would have to increase the number of towers by 500% at least!

The realistic reach of 4G is around 5kms compared to 3G at 20kms - as long as there is no significant bushland or elevation in between. 4G has no hope whatsoever to reach through any dense tree cover. That means people living in "the bush" will no longer get phone coverage at all.

When you switched off 2G you gave us the same spiel.... it has nothing to do with new phones, only with coverage. 32G gave around 40km coverage. Then all the people living or traveling further than 20km out of any tow were cut off. Now you are making it MUCH worse!
When Starlink is out of beta, Telstra will pay dearly from loss of customers! Keeping 3G local phone and data is your only chance from loosing your customers to Wathsapp, Messenger, WeChat etc etc.... all of which run perfectly good and free over IP now....

What is the purpose of still having Telstra at all then????

Level 1: Cadet

As far as I am concerned 3G is switched off most of the time in my area.   So no chance 4G or 5G?

Level 1: Cadet

@Joe_in_OzNo they are not crazy.  And 850MHz whether it be 3G or 4G will have similar range. They still have another 3 years to get the coverage sorted, and once the 850MHz 3G is turned off, there will be far more bandwidth for 4G and 5G.

Just Registered

Well .. I live in Kalgoorlie where we have possibly the worst service in Australia.

It's been like this for months and EVERYONE is constantly complaining about it, so, if you're planing on cutting the 3G service off, you better make sure that 4G is working properly FIRST!!

I and many others I know of, are running in 3G because the 4G service is near useless.

And before you advise me to contact Telstra to help resolve the problem ... I've done that' haven't heard back and it's STILL useless!!!