3G Sunsets: Prepare for the Transition Today

Don't wait until the last minute - start planning your 3G migration now to ensure that you're ready for the transition.

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Our guide has been updated and in it, you'll learn about:

The details, reasons and impact of sunsetting, including its timeline.
What will occur to your IoT deployments once 3G and 2G services are discontinued.
The functions and characteristics of other connectivity options are available.
The three critical steps you need to take to ensure your IoT deployments are future-proof.


What is the 3G Sunset?

The 3G sunset refers to the phase-out of the third-generation (3G) mobile network technology in the UK. This technology was first introduced in the early 2000s and has been the backbone of mobile communications in the country for over two decades.

However, as more advanced technologies like 4G and 5G become available, service providers are gradually shutting down their 3G networks to make room for these newer and faster technologies.





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Why is it Happening in the UK?

The 3G sunset in the UK is due to its inability to keep up with the increasing demand for faster and more reliable mobile data speeds and the growing number of connected devices.

In addition, 3G is less energy efficient compared to newer technologies like 4G and 5G, which use less power and provide better battery life for mobile devices.



What Does the 3G Sunset Mean for UK Consumers?

If you're using a 3G-enabled device in the UK, you may experience slower and less reliable mobile data speeds, and shorter battery life.

To access faster and more reliable mobile data speeds, upgrade to a newer device compatible with 4G and 5G networks, which are easily available.




Businesses with legacy hardware and devices, such as industrial and manufacturing companies, are most affected by the 3G sunset.

For instance, windmills and turbines may still have 3G connections that need to be replaced before the coverage is switched off in their area. If you haven't been notified and are worried about the process, you can reach out to our team for a free consultation.

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2G & 3G Network Sunset Dates in the uk

Officially networks only need to give three months’ notice to confirm the shutdown of network services.


Network Service Closure Details
EE 3G Jan-23

Starting from January 2023, 3G will no longer receive official support and cell sites will no longer be maintained. In areas with strong 4G coverage, 3G may be completely discontinued, resulting in limited national coverage. The complete shutdown of 3G is anticipated to occur in early 2024.

Vodafone 3G Jan-23

Vodafone plans to switch off its UK 3G network in 2023, with work commencing on Jan 23 and completion by the end of the year. National Coverage and support for 3G services can not be guaranteed from Jan-23.

Three 3G Dec-24

The estimated time for the complete closure of the 3G network is expected to begin in some regions in early 2023.

EE 2G  

EE 2G network closure estimated 2026-2029

Vodafone 2G By 2033

There are no immediate plans to retire 2G, however, the approach is in line with the UK government's modernization plan to phase out 2G by 2033. The current priority is to switch off 3G and move as much of the 2G and 3G traffic as possible to 4G and 5G. The long-term strategy involves transferring all voice and non-IoT data to 4G and 5G while maintaining 2G for narrow-band IoT data communication.

O2 2G  

No plans announced for 2G network closure

O2 3G  

3G phase-out confirmed, but no confirmed dates









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