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FAQs | 3G Network Shutdown

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Australia’s Mobile Network Operators are making network changes that may affect your service(s).

Think Mobile Swift/Super and Ultimate service plans use the Vodafone Network. Vodafone shut down its legacy 3G mobile network on the 15th of December 2023.

Think Mobile Classic service plans use the Telstra network. Telstra plans to shut down its legacy 3G mobile network on the 31st of August 2024.

Most Think Mobile customers already access 4G network services and will not be affected by the 3G network shutting down.

A small number of customers who have handsets that are not fully compatible with Australian 4G networks may need to upgrade their phone or make a change to their phone settings.

Where we identify that you have a handset that is affected, we will notify you.

FAQS

When is the 3G network shutting down?
The Vodafone 3G network was shut down on 15 December 2023.

The Telstra 3G network is scheduled to be shut down on 31 August 2024.

What do I need to do?
Most of our customers do not have to do anything at all and will continue accessing the respective 4G network.

A very small number of our customers have handsets, tablets and connected devices that are incompatible with Australian Vodafone 4G networks and will need to upgrade those devices. Where we identify that you have a device that is affected, we will notify you.

Some 4G handsets may also need settings changed to be able to continue to make and receive voice calls using the respective 4G network.

Why are the 3G networks shutting down?
Mobile carriers around the world are shutting down their 3G networks as more advanced 4G and 5G network services become widespread. 4G and 5G networks are more efficient at delivering greater speed and capacity, which means better service and experience for customers.

Similar shutdowns have happened before. All Australian mobile networks switched off their 2G networks a few years ago when they upgraded to 4G.

What devices are affected by the 3G closure?
All 3G-only devices (including phones, tablets and mobile broadband devices) and in rare cases, some older 4G phones, will be affected.

Some older 4G phones that do not have a feature called ‘VoLTE’ (Voice over Long Term Evolution) will not be able to make and receive voice calls.

Some older 4G phones can support regular 4G calling using VoLTE but may be unable to make Emergency calls to 000.

Where we identify you have a device that is affected, we will notify you.

I have a 3G phone, how does this affect me?
If you have a 3G-only phone then you will no longer be able to make calls, (including 000 emergency calls), send texts or access the internet on your phone when the 3G network switches off. WiFi internet access is still possible.

We recommend you upgrade your phone to a 4G or 5G compatible device to continue having mobile service.

Will 4G network coverage differ to 3G coverage?
The 4G coverage area of each network is similar in size and reach to its 3G coverage. You can compare coverage maps here.

Why can I hear a pre-recorded 3G message when making an outbound call?
If you hear a recorded message about the 3G network closing down when you make an outbound call, that means Telstra has identified that you will need to upgrade your handset before the 3G network closes.

Does the 3G network closure only affect phones?
No. Other devices like tablets, mobile broadband modems, smart watches, some home security systems, and other connected devices might also be using 3G services. Please contact your device manufacturer or our Customer Care team if you are unsure of your device’s specific capabilities.

What is VoLTE and how do I switch it on?
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is a feature that allows you to make voice calls using the 4G network. You might need to turn the VoLTE setting on.

Android devices
If you have a Samsung device, Voice over LTE should automatically be enabled. If you’ve previously disabled VoLTE and want to reenable it, or would like to check if it’s enabled on your Android device, please go to your Settings > Mobile Networks

Apple devices
If you have an Apple device iPhone 6 or later, Voice over LTE should be automatically enabled. To check this or manually enable, please go to Settings > Mobile > Mobile Data options > Voice and Data

What do I do with my old 3G device?
The best way to recycle your old device is to utilise Mobile Muster, the Australian mobile industry’s official recycling scheme. For more information, visit Recycle a mobile – MobileMuster.