Navigating the 3G Shutdown

19 April 2024


As the digital landscape evolves, so too does our need to adapt and embrace new technologies. In 2019, the three large telecommunication providers announced they would be shutting down their 3G networks to transition to 4G and 5G networks, designed to support faster internet speeds, better call quality, and can support more devices at once.

As technology advances, it’s natural for older systems to become outdated and be phased out to make room for improvements. The shift from 3G to 4G and 5G is similar to upgrading from an old, slow computer to a newer, faster one. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we transitioned from the old CDMA and 2G systems. But as the number of phones increase, and the growth of social media, streaming services and online gaming, the 3G network is no longer fit for purpose.

With all technology changes however, does come the risk of changes to levels in current service levels. The below tips have been designed to hopefully avoid or guide you through any challenges that arise.

The 3G Shutdown: What you need to know

The decision to phase out 3G networks is driven by the burgeoning demand for 4G and 5G technologies that offer superior speed, capacity, and reliability. This move is essential for accommodating the ever-increasing consumption of mobile data and for paving the way for innovative services that require high-bandwidth, low-latency networks.

For many, this transition will be seamless. However, stakeholders directly impacted by the shutdown, including businesses, community services, and individuals, especially in regional and remote areas, may face unique challenges. It’s crucial to understand that this is not just an end but a new beginning, offering enhanced possibilities for connectivity and technological engagement.

Preparing for the transition To ensure a smooth transition from 3G to 4G and 5G networks, stakeholders are encouraged to:

To ensure a smooth transition from 3G to 4G and 5G networks, stakeholders are encouraged to:

  • Review your devices: Check if your mobile phones, tablets, and other connected devices are 4G or 5G compatible. The average household has 22-24 connected devices, so think about health monitors, on-farm devices, point-of-sale machines, smart fridges, modems and more. This information is typically available in your device settings or on the manufacturer’s website.
  • Stay informed: Telecommunications providers are reaching out to customers with key information about the shutdown, including timelines and what to expect. Paying close attention to communications from your provider is vital.

  • Plan upgrades: If you or your constituents use 3G-only devices, now is the time to consider upgrading to ensure uninterrupted service. Telstra is planning to shut down its 3G network in June 2024 and Optus in September 2024. Vodafone has already switched off its 3G network. Keep an eye out for trade-in deals or special offers as the date approaches. For any newer devices (less than five-eight years old), it is likely that they are already compatible.

The Role of the Regional Tech Hub

Recognising the unique challenges faced by regional and remote communities, the Regional Tech Hub is available to provide free and independent advice on the 3G shut down. Whether you’re seeking clarity on the shutdown process, need assistance with upgrading your devices, or simply have questions about how to maximise your connectivity options post-3G, the Regional Tech Hub is here to help. Accessing their services can demystify the process and offer tailored solutions that meet your specific needs.

• Phone: 1300 081 029
• Website:
• Book a 1:1 appointment via the website.


The 3G network shutdown is a pivotal moment in our journey towards a more connected, digital Australia. By staying informed, preparing for change, and utilising the resources available, such as the Regional Tech Hub, we can all move forward together, ready to embrace the myriad opportunities that 4G and 5G technologies bring.