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Telstra delays 3G shut down to give customers more time to upgrade their devices

Telstra has delayed the closure of its 3G network by two months to give customers more time to check and update their devices and ensure they are not caught out.

Telstra was initially due to shut down its 3G network on June 30, 2024, and it has now extended that deadline to August 30, 2024

This additional two months gives people more time to check their devices that rely on 3G for data, voice or emergency calls. A few months ago there were more then 750,000 customers who were using smartphones that would not work once 3G is closed. Telstra has already set up an SMS service so customers can check their device’s compatibility without 3G. Customers can text “3” to 3498 and their reply will tell them whether their device is OK or needs to be updated before the 3G closure.

Soon customers who are yet to upgrade will hear a short message when making an 20 outgoing call on these affected devices. “We have decided to extend our 3G network closure by two months to allow people more time to upgrade their devices,” Telstra CEO Vicky Brady said in a blog on the Telstra website. “We will close our 3G network on 31 August 2024.” “Connectivity is becoming more and more important to the way we all live and work, and we are excited to help all Australians transition to 4G and 5G mobile networks, which are faster, more reliable, and more resilient. “But we have to make sure everyone is ready to make this transition together, and we know some of our customers are still working through the steps they need to take to upgrade their devices. “That’s why we’ve decided to provide more time and further support.” The devices that will not work when the 3G network shuts down are 3G only, those that don’t support VoLTE (voice over 4G) or if it 4G enabled but hardwired for 3G for Emergency Calls. Customers with these devices will need to purchase a new device. “We have been making good progress on modernising our 3G network sites with new 4G and 5G antennas and radio hardware, with 99 percent of upgrades now complete,” Ms Brady says. “We made an absolute commitment to expand our 4G coverage to be equivalent to existing 3G coverage across the country before we close the 3G network, and we are on track to meet that. “After upgrades are complete, we will continue to test and optimise the network to make sure all our customers get the best experience possible.” 21 “Moving customers onto 4G and 5G services will mean a big leap forward for mobile connectivity across Australia. “It will allow us to repurpose the 3G spectrum so we can extend our 5G network and create a more reliable network and a better experience for our customers. “Closing Australia’s 3G networks is a significant step that will lead to improved connectivity for the nation, so please act quickly to check your devices and upgrade today or get in touch with us for help.” TELSTRA’S 3G CLOSURE FAQs How do I know if I’m impacted? – You will have received a SMS or email from Telstra. – If you’re still unsure or want to triple check, please SMS ‘3’ to 3498 and it will let you know if that mobile is impacted. Should I wait until 4G is available before I upgrade my phone? – We’re almost done upgrading the network with 99% of 3G sites have equivalent 4G coverage. If you currently only receive a 3G signal and/or are using a device older than 2019, it’s time to look at upgrading. – Use the SMS tool to check your mobile’s compatibility and if you need to upgrade, we’d encourage you to do it today. I have a 4G phone, why am I getting messages about upgrading? – Some older 4G mobile phones require a 3G network to make calls to Triple Zero. This is a hardware feature built into the design of the phone by the manufacturer and it is 22 a global, industry-wide issue that many countries have already worked through as they have closed their 3G networks. – Following the closure of Australia’s 3G networks customers with these devices will not be able to make Triple Zero calls despite the device otherwise working normally. To be able to make an emergency call to Triple Zero once the 3G mobile networks are closed, 4G devices must support, and be configured to use, VoLTE emergency calling. – VoLTE is the international standard all mobile networks use to carry voice calls over 4G networks. We are contacting customers we have been able to identify as using one of these devices to let them know they need to check their device and will likely need to upgrade. What should I do with my old phone? – Recycle it! I can’t afford to upgrade, can Telstra help? – If you’re in hardship, please contact us and we’ll work with you to find the best solution. – Upgrading to a compatible device doesn’t need to break the bank. We have some great low-cost devices available.

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