3G is being retired soon, so if you're a Vodafone business customer then here's what you and your company need to do next.
Vodafone is switching off its 3G network across the UK. The decision – which is in line with all the other UK mobile network operators – will see the 3G network phased out by early 2024 and replaced by stronger 4G and 5G services. Vodafone’s 2G network, which currently covers over 99% of the UK population, will remain in place for calls, texts and a number of business applications.
Vodafone has already switched off its 3G network in Basingstoke, Glasgow, Hull, Oxford and Plymouth. If you’re a Vodafone business customer elsewhere in the country – big or small –here are the key things you need to know about 3G and our switch off plans.
One of the many benefits of switching off 3G is the ability to reuse the radio frequencies currently used by 3G to deliver stronger and faster 4G and 5G coverage in more places.
What is 3G?
The evolution of mobile coverage has occurred in several generations over the decades:
- 2G – the earliest generation technology still in use. 2G is limited to calls, texts and certain business applications which use low amounts of data.
- 3G – this has been in service since the early 2000s. It offers speeds high enough to allow some basic data services, but it takes noticeably longer to download and upload than 4G and 5G.
- 4G – offers faster data as well as services such as 4G Calling, which is a way of making calls with far better audio quality than 3G. Vodafone 4G is currently available to over 99% of the UK’s population.
- 5G – the latest generation of wireless technology with much faster speeds than 4G. It has low latency, so there’s much less time between performing an action online and seeing a response. With its significantly increased capacity over 4G, more phones and devices can be connected in the same area without slowing down data speeds. 5G is the technology which is starting to introduce the business and society applications of the future; from remote GP patient diagnosis or remotely assisted surgery; car park space monitoring to driverless cars; VR shopping experiences to smart factory robotic manufacturing.
How do I know which ‘G’ my mobile phone is using?
Most phones will tell you which ‘generation’ network they are connected to – just look for the symbol in either the top left-hand or right-hand corner of your phones’ screen. It’s worth remembering however that, depending on the mobile phone you have and your location, it may switch between network types while you’re out and about.