In 2021 the UK Government and telecoms industry jointly announced the sunsetting of 2G and 3G by 2033 at the latest. Vodafone, EE, and Three will all complete their 3G sunsetting by 2024, with some of the process already underway.
We’re moving on. It’s not you, it’s 3G
But the tech behind the 3G networks is ageing; and newer, faster services are overtaking
Consumers are demanding faster, more data-intensive apps, and 4G and 5G deliver lightning speeds, lower latency, and enhanced performance. They leave 3G in the dust when it comes to streaming and speedy data sharing.
Phasing out legacy tech saves mobile operators money, and they can provide better services and capacity.
Fewer and fewer people are using 3G – Virgin Mobile O2 said it accounted for less than 4% of their network in 2022. It just doesn’t make business sense to keep it running.
And the switch-off is part of the industry’s move towards more global standardisation and compatibility across 4G LTE and 5G technologies.
What about 2G?
So there’s a slightly longer timeframe for this sunset due to the scale of adaptations required.
The 2G/ 3G sunset brings challenges and opportunities for the Channel and our Partners
Partners need to be strategising now for how they can best support their customers using older devices to upgrade their equipment. Options to reduce the impact of sunsetting on older devices include replacing the affected hardware; or using an unsteered multi-network SIM, which prolongs a device’s lifespan by allowing it to connect to any of the four UK networks’ remaining 3G coverage.
At Pangea we believe the potential for growth, new revenue streams, and increased customer satisfaction will outweigh the downsides.
In particular, 4G and 5G offer groundbreaking scope for innovation in IoT and connected devices. And we’re leading the charge.