Press Release

Vodafone switches off 3G across UK, enhancing 4G and 5G services

Mon 4 Mar 2024

Vodafone UK has successfully deactivated its 3G network across the UK, allowing the company to repurpose 3G radio frequencies to boost its 4G and 5G services.

This move is set to provide customers with faster data services and clearer voice calls throughout more regions of the UK.

Vodafone Says Goodbye to 3G

This initiative is a key component of Vodafone’s broader network modernisation programme, which aims to expand 4G and 5G services across the UK.

Vodafone has also extended its 4G coverage through the Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme. This £1 billion ($1.27 billion) joint initiative with the UK Government and other mobile network operators focuses on mast sharing in rural areas and establishing new masts to serve previously uncovered regions.

To date, over 155 rural locations have reportedly benefited from enhanced 4G connectivity under this programme.

Andrea Dona, Vodafone’s UK Network Director, said: “The 3G legacy switch off has been a massive programme … With switch-off complete, we can start to redeploy the remaining spectrum which will ultimately lead to stronger and faster 4G and 5G across the UK.”

Enhancing Connectivity and Sustainability

The shutdown of the 3G network aligns with Vodafone’s commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2027, leveraging the energy efficiency of modern 5G networks, which are ten times more efficient than 3G networks.

In light of its proposed merger with Three UK, Vodafone has committed to an £11 billion ($13.97 billion) investment over the next decade. This investment aims to deliver 5G Standalone (5G SA) services to 99% of the UK population by 2034.

The discontinuation of 3G services is the culmination of an extensive customer awareness campaign initiated in January 2022.

Vodafone actively engaged with its consumer and business customers potentially impacted by the 3G switch-off, offering support like software upgrade guidance and activation of 4G Calling services.

Efforts to ensure the most vulnerable customers were informed and prepared for the switch-off involved collaboration with charities and other third-party groups.

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