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Extension for 3G network closure

Western Plains App

Kristin Murdock

07 May 2024, 9:20 PM

Extension for 3G network closureThe end date of the 3G network has been extended, but mobile telephone users are encouraged to upgrade devices before the deadline.

The imminent closure of the 3G telephone network - initially set to begin on June 30 this year – sees the end of twenty years of use for that network.

But in a major rethink, Telstra will be extending its 3G network closure by two months to allow people more time to upgrade their devices.

Telstra's 3G network will now close on 31 August 2024, to allow more time to transition to 4G and 5G compatible devices so customers can take advantage of the newer mobile networks, which are faster, more reliable, and more resilient.


For customers who are not sure if they will be impacted or what next steps to take, they can use the SMS tool to check if their phones need to be updated before the network closes.

Simply text ‘3’ to 3498, customers with a device using Telstra’s mobile network will receive a text back advising on the status of the device and what action must be taken.


Channa Seneviratne is a Technology Development and Innovation Executive in Telstra Global Networks & Technology who is based in Brisbane. He said the extension of time was because many customers are still making changes to accommodate the new network.


"We realized that some of our customers both individual, and also some businesses are still working through the steps that they need to upgrade their devices to be ready for that change," Mr Seneviratne told Western Plains App. "So this is why we have decided to provide more time. And it's important to remember that the closure of our 3G network impacts more than just handsets and Wi Fi hotspots. There's also other devices like medical devices, EFTPOS terminals and things like on farm machinery, and all of those devices need to be upgraded."


Since announcing the closure of their 3G network almost five years ago, Telstra says they have seen a significant decline in 3G usage across the national network.

Mr Seneviratne said that when the closure was announced, Telstra committed to not shutting off the 3G network until there was equivalent coverage from 4G.


"We've been making great progress and we are on track to meet that," he said. "After the upgrades are complete, we will continue to test and optimize the network to make sure that our customers get the best experience possible.

"And also when we shut down the 3G network, we will be repurposing the spectrum to 5G and that will allow us to extend 5G coverage particularly to regional Australia much more efficiently."

Channa Seneviratne


Soon, customers yet to upgrade will hear a short message on impacted mobiles when they make an outgoing call, as a reminder that they need to act. This pre-recorded message will only be removed once the device has been upgraded.


While there is now a little more time, it’s vital Australians don’t delay and act now, to ensure they stay connected when the network switches off.