Telstra, Optus & Vodafone are shutting down their 3G networks…

Australia’s three largest telcos began shutting down the 3G network from December 2023.

The 20-year old network is still relied on by older mobile phones, baby monitors and medical devices.

So what do you need to do to prepare if you haven’t already done so?


What is 3G?

3G was rolled out in 2003. At the time it provided ground-breaking data and network speeds. Now the modern standard is 4G or 5G, so a lot of devices won’t be affected by the change. But some people, particularly in remote and regional areas, still rely on the 3G network.

You can check if your device depends on 3G with the manufacturer, and if it does, they should be able to tell you how you can stay connected.


What devices will be affected?

The change will affect more than mobile phones (although they are most common devices which will be impacted).

Medical-alert technology, baby monitors, EFTPOS machines and farming equipment all use the 3G network.

Some of the most popular devices to be affected include:

Alcatel 2038 Alcatel OneTouch 2045 Apple iPhone 5 Apple iPhone 5C
Apple iPhone 5S Aspera A42 Doro PhoneEasy 623 OPTUS Doro 6521
Google Pixel 2 XL Huawei E5331 Huawei E5251 s-2 Huawei Y6 Prime
Nokia 301 Oppo A57 Oppo F1s Oppo F5 Youth
Optus X Smart Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini Samsung Galaxy S5 ZTE Blade A0605


When will the networks shut down?

Vodafone was the first network to disconnect on December 15, 2023 and will be followed by Telstra on June 30, 2024 and finally the Optus network in September, 2024.


What areas will be affected?

The 3G network is being scrapped Australia wide; so regardless of where you live, you will lose your connection.


Can 3G devices still dial triple-0?

No, not necessarily.

Telstra has warned devices that cannot access the 4G network will NOT be able to call triple-0.

If another provider in the area is still operating a 3G network calls may connect but there is no guarantee.


Unsure… check with the manufacturer to see if you will be affected. 


Source: ABC News (story by, Molly Slattery – 31st August 2023)