Technology

Vodafone makes major change to its network – here’s how it could affect you


Most newer phones are 4G, or even 5G, enabled (Picture: Getty)

Vodafone has switched off its 3G network – meaning some phones have effectively become redundant to scour the internet while on the go.

However, 3G-enabled devices can still make and receive calls and texts, and a small number of remote and rural communities will remain connected for a ‘short time’ according to the firm.

Vodafone said it made the move in order to invest more money in 4G and 5G, which are used by the majority of customers, but it means some people will have to upgrade to a new phone which, as the UK still grapples with the cost of living crisis, could be an unwanted expense.

Vodafone announced the switch-up at the beginning of 2022 and begun shutting off its 3G network in January, across the cities of Plymouth, Basingstoke, Hull, Oxford and Glasgow last year.

But by the end of February, all 3G services across the UK have been turned off.

Vodafone is shutting down all its 3G services (Picture: Getty)

‘Our focus remains to continue to build the UK’s most reliable mobile network and to continue to do this, we need to ensure our technologies are fit for purpose,’ said Andrea Dona, Vodafone’s UK network director.

‘Now is the time to say goodbye to 3G and focus on the current benefits and future possibilities of our 4G and 5G networks.’

However, the firm still has its 2G network, and there are no plans to shut it down anytime soon as it remains in place for calls and texts, but not for data.

The UK has four mobile operators that own the mobile network infrastructure – Vodafone, Three, EE and O2 – but all are in the process of shutting down 3G.

EE started its 3G network closure in January, while Three aims to shut it down by the end of the year.

O2, meanwhile, will be ending 3G by the end of 2025.


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