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Australia’s 3G mobile network is closing down and it might affect you

What is 3G?

3G is the third generation of the mobile network. It is being replaced by fourth (4G) and fifth generation (5G) networks, which are supposed to offer faster data and a greater download and upload capacity on mobile devices.

What is happening to 3G?

By the end of the year, all major mobile network carriers will close their 3G networks, impacting several thousand people, especially those in low-income households. TPG Telecom/Vodafone closed their 3G network in January, while Telstra and Optus are expected to close theirs in August and September, respectively.

What does that mean for me?

If you have a 3G mobile device, you’ll need to upgrade it before the network closes. It’s also important to note that these changes are not limited to mobile phones but may include medical alarms and personal emergency response solutions as well.

How do I know if my device is on the 3G network?

If your mobile provider uses the Telstra or Optus network, you can text “3” to the number ‘3498’ to check if your mobile phone will be affected by the 3G closure.

Or you can get your International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number by pressing *#06# on your mobile phone, then using that number in the ‘check-my-device’ tool:

Is there support for people experiencing hardship with the costs associated with upgrading and replacing digital devices?

People may be eligible to receive a free handset from mobile providers to ensure they remain connected, you can contact your service provider directly.

Commonwealth Home Support Program and Home Care Packages could provide support for upgrading affected medical alarms/devices.

See more information from Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA)