Press Release | 27 Feb 2024

Vodafone UK successfully switches off 3G across the UK – boosting 4G and 5G

The last remaining 3G radio frequencies will be repurposed to strengthen Vodafone's 4G and 5G services in the UK.

Vodafone UK has successfully switched off its legacy 3G network across the UK*. The activity, which finished this week, allows Vodafone to repurpose the last remaining 3G radio frequencies to strengthen 4G and 5G services, meaning customers across more parts of the UK can access faster data services and clearer voice calls.

The activity follows an ongoing customer awareness campaign which started in January 2022. This included Vodafone notifying its customers (across both consumer and business) who could have been affected by the switch off, offering information and advice such as how to carry out software upgrades where required and how to activate services such as 4G Calling. The campaign also included working with charities and other third-party groups to reach the most vulnerable customers ahead of switch off in their area.

3G switch-off is coming: Here's what you need to do

In 2023 Vodafone is retiring 3G in the UK, so it’s time to check your phone – and to check-in on your relatives and neighbours – to see if and how you’ll be affected by the switch-off.

The 3G switch off is part of a wider network modernisation programme which includes the rollout of faster 5G and 4G services to more locations across the UK. Vodafone has also extended its 4G coverage further through the Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme, a £1bn joint initiative between Government and the UK’s four mobile network operators. It uses mast sharing on existing sites in rural areas, while also building new shared masts to connect areas that currently have no coverage at all. Over 155 rural locations across the UK are now receiving more reliable 4G as part of Vodafone’s ongoing commitment to the SRN programme.

Vodafone’s UK Network Director, Andrea Dona, said: “The 3G legacy switch off has been a massive programme and I’d like to thank my team for their hard work to make this a success. 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. All on top of our existing 4G and 5G network improvement programmes. Good news for our customers, businesses and the wider UK economy.”

The retirement of Vodafone’s 3G network is also an important part of Vodafone’s strategy to reach Net Zero by 2027, as modern 5G networks are 10 times more energy efficient than the 3G network.

As part of its proposed merger with Three UK, Vodafone UK has pledged to invest £11 billion over the next 10 years and deliver 5G Standalone (5G SA) to 99% of the UK population by 2034.

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from Vodafone by following us on Twitter and signing up for News Centre website notifications.

– Ends –

Notes to editors

*A small number of locations with UK security significance, as well as a handful of remote rural communities, will remain switched on for a short period of time after the main national switch off.

All UK mobile network operators have confirmed to the Government that they do not intend to offer 2G or 3G mobile networks past 2033.


About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester and now have 5G in locations across Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain as well as the UK. Meanwhile, our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. Vodafone is the largest provider of full fibre in the UK – our superfast broadband services are now available to nearly 12 million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit:

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693


Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews


Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587