Vodafone UK recently announced its plans to switch off its 3G network in 2023. The company has already started its 3G switch off in the Plymouth and Basingstoke areas, and it will continue across the rest of the UK region by region, starting in June and throughout the rest of the year.
According to Vodafone Business, less than 4% of the data used on its network travels on 3G today, compared to more than 30% in 2016. Retiring 3G will allow Vodafone Business to create more 4G and 5G capacity and bring better and faster coverage to more places across the UK.
When the 3G network is switched off, customers with 3G-only mobile devices will still be able to make and receive calls and texts through Vodafone’s 2G network. However, in most cases, data won’t be available. Many 3G-only IoT and M2M devices will still be able to connect using the 2G network with reduced speed. However, those devices that require faster data speeds than 2G can provide will no longer work and should be upgraded.
Vodafone Business is boosting the coverage and capacity on its 2G and 4G networks so that customers still get a great experience. For customers with 4G-capable devices, Vodafone is enabling 4G Calling (sometimes called VoLTE) and WiFi Calling on business mobile voice services. The company will also provide instructions on how customers can check and update their device settings to use these features.
As the 3G network switch off will impact businesses’ connectivity, Vodafone Business encourages its customers to take steps to ensure they are ready for the change. The company is providing support and advice to help its customers prepare for the switch off. Customers can speak to their account manager or client sales executive or call 191 free from their Vodafone mobile (03333 040 191 from any other phone – standard call charges apply).