Australia announces it will turn off 3G networks

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced today that it will completely shut down 3G networks. While TPG Telecom (also known as Vodafone) has already switched off its network, two other carriers are planning to do so in 3.5 months.

Australia will completely turn off 3G

In a brief statement on its website, the regulator stated that Telstra and Optus will be shutting down their 3G mobile networks in 2024. Telstra is scheduled to deactivate its network on August 31, with Optus following suit in the subsequent days. ACMA reminded users with 3G devices that their phones will no longer be able to send messages or make calls, including to the emergency number 000 (Triple Zero).

Those with 4G devices that still make voice calls over 3G networks (that is phones lacking VoLTE support) will also be affected. They are advised to contact their carrier for further instructions. According to ACMA, most at-risk devices are older 4G handsets purchased overseas.

Australia will completely turn off 3G

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) emphasized that all 3G devices, not just phones, will be affected. This includes tablets, smartwatches, EFTPOS machines (card terminals), medical alarms, and other personal emergency response solutions.

AMTA urged users to take action now and migrate to newer solutions to prevent interruptions of service. Additionally, there is an official program for the free recycling of old mobile phones that will inevitably need to be discarded once the 3G networks are shut down.

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