If you still have a device only capable of 3G connectivity and use Vodafone UK’s mobile network, you might want to think about replacing it by 2023 as the firm has confirmed this is when it'll begin retiring its 3G services. By ending support for this older network, Vodafone will be able to strengthen 4G and 5G connectivity which will benefit many more people.
To ensure that everyone is prepared for the switch, the company will be running a year-long campaign to ensure that customers are all set for the switch off. The company’s 3G network began operations 17 years ago and hosted 500 billion minutes of calls. Vodafone believes it’s now time to switch it off as less than 4% of data travels on 3G compared to 30% in 2016.
Discussing the upcoming campaign to get people ready for the switch, Vodafone UK CEO Ahmed Essam said:
“We start communicating to customers about this today – our goal is for everyone to stay connected, and we’ll be doing everything we can to make sure that’s the case. During the campaign, we’ll be asking customers not just to make sure that their own phone supports 4G and 4G Calling, but also to check in on friends and family. There are people who aren’t confident with technology, and we want to ensure everyone is getting the help that they need, so that no one is left behind.”
Aside from delivering better connectivity on the 4G and 5G networks, the 3G switch off will help Vodafone reach its Net Zero goals by 2027 because the new 5G network is ten times more efficient than the 3G network.
If you'll be affected by this change and on a tight budget, most phones today ship with 4G, even those priced under £50. If you or a relative are not comfortable with smartphones, firms like Nokia sell feature phones with 4G connectivity too.