3G Switch-Off Blog Post

5 Things To Know About The 3G Switch-Off

In the ever-evolving world of mobile technology, the switch-off of 3G networks is now on the horizon. This transition will deliver improved efficiency and connectivity through advanced networks like 4G and 5G. From varied 3G switch-off timelines to device compatibility and provider communication, here are 5 things businesses need to know.

1. Embrace Enhanced Efficiency and Connectivity

Man celebrating with Mobile Phone - 3G Switch-Off

With the switch-off of 3G networks, businesses can look forward to improved efficiency and connectivity through the adoption of advanced mobile networks like 4G and 5G. These networks offer faster speeds, increased reliability, and a seamless user experience. If your organisation has already transitioned to 4G or 5G, you’re likely to experience minimal disruptions during the switch-off process.

2. Timelines Vary by Mobile Provider

Business Man with Phone - 3G Switch-Off

Each mobile provider has its own timeline for switching off 3G networks in order to make room for its 4G & 5G networks. It’s crucial to stay up to date with the planned switch-off dates to ensure a smooth transition. Here’s a glimpse of the switch-off schedules for the major network providers in the UK:

  • Vodafone 3G Switch Off The switch-off process has commenced as of June 2023 and is to be completed by the end of 2023.
  • EE 3G Switch Off: The switch-off is planned to begin on 1st January 2024.
  • Three 3G Switch Off: The switch-off is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.
  • O2 3G Switch Off: No specific switch-off plans have been announced yet.

Regularly check your mobile provider’s website for the latest updates and communicate with your Account Manager to stay informed.

3. Impact on Businesses with Different Providers

Man on escalator with Mobile Phone - 3G Switch-Off

If your organisation relies on smaller mobile service providers, it’s important to understand which network they utilise and align their switch-off timelines with the main providers. Here are some examples:

  • Vodafone network users: Lebara Mobile, Asda Mobile, Talk Mobile & VOXI.
  • EE network users: Your Co-op, 1p Mobile, Utility Warehouse, Ecotalk, Plusnet & BT Mobile.
  • Three network users: iD Mobile, Smarty, Freedompop & Superdrug Mobile.
  • O2 network users: Tesco Mobile, giffgaff, Sky Mobile, Virgin Mobile & Lycamobile.

Ensure you have clear communication channels with your providers to understand their switch-off plans and prepare accordingly.

4. Stay Informed Through Provider Communication

Woman with Mobile Phone - 3G Switch-Off

Your mobile service provider will play a crucial role in informing your organisation about the switch-off and providing guidance on necessary actions. Proactively engage with your Account Manager to understand the impact on your business operations. Additionally, ensure your IT team is aware of any software or settings updates required for seamless 4G compatibility. Your provider will offer instructions and support throughout the transition process.

5. Evaluate Device Compatibility and Plan Replacements

Man holding Phone - 3G Switch-Off

Take stock of your organisation’s mobile device inventory to identify devices that do not support 4G or 5G. These older devices will need to be replaced to maintain access to mobile data services. Your mobile provider will provide advance notice, allowing your IT team to evaluate and plan for necessary device upgrades. If budgetary concerns arise, discuss them with your provider to explore support options and identify cost-effective alternatives. Basic 4G handsets are available at affordable prices.

By understanding these five key points, your organisation can navigate the 3G switch-off smoothly, embrace enhanced mobile capabilities, and ensure uninterrupted business operations. Stay informed, communicate with your providers, and plan ahead for a seamless transition to the future of mobile technology.


The 3G switch-off is a good reminder for businesses to review and evaluate their current mobile providers and contracts. If you’re thinking about reviewing your business mobiles, here’s more guidance from our blog:

Business Mobiles: Maximising Productivity & Efficiency

Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile

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About Marlin Communications

Marlin Communications Ltd is a leading UK provider of business communications technology solutions across Voice, Video, Connectivity, Cyber Security and Business Mobiles.

We work with all the major solution providers including Microsoft, Zoom, GoTo, Mitel, Gamma, Yealink, Poly, SonicWall, O2 & Vodafone, to name just a few.

And with our expert team of Solution Consultants, Engineers and Support staff, we’re perfectly positioned to partner with you for the long-term and help your business connect, collaborate & grow.

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