O2 announces plans to close the 3G network
As part of a customer enhancement programme, O2 will be switching off 3G services in 2025. This follows an agreement with the Government and other mobile network operators in 2021 that 3G would be switched off in the UK by 2033 at the latest. This industry-wide switch off programme will enable them to focus on upgrading to faster, more reliable and energy-efficient 4G and 5G networks to improve their services.
Why is O2 switching off 3G?
3G has been suspended by 4G and 5G networks over recent years, with the 3G network carrying less and less traffic. By focusing investment on their 4G and 5G networks, O2 will be able to further expand and upgrade services, so your customers can benefit from faster download speeds and higher quality voice calls.
While 3G accounts for less than 4% of data used on the O2 network, it accounts for 11% of their total energy consumption. 4G and 5G, which account for 96% of mobile network data traffic, are 10 times more efficient.
The other UK operators have also announced plans to switch off 3G and some have already started their 3G switch off programmes.
When does it come into place?
The 3G switch off won’t begin until 2025 so it’s important to emphasise that nothing will change right now. Further communication will be published closer to the switch off date in 2025, providing you with more information and letting you know about any action you may need to take.
A note on Boostbox
There are many older style Boostbox deployments which are only capable of supporting 3G services and which are linked to the 3G network. However, the Boostbox service is now on stop sell, ahead of its withdrawal from service in June 2024.
Will 2G be switched off as well?
There are no immediate plans to switch off 2G. In the longer term, all mobile network operators have agreed with the UK Government to switch off 2G by 2033.