Vodafone will begin retiring its 3G network in 2023 as part of a network modernisation programme to improve the 4G and 5G experience for all customers. The programme, which will see 3G coverage gradually phased out and replaced by strengthened 4G and 5G services, will mean customers across more parts of the UK can access more reliable connectivity through the Vodafone network.
Retiring 3G – after 17 years and nearly 500 billion minutes of calls – is a key part of Vodafone’s strategy to give customers the most reliable network experience. Today, less than 4% of the data used on Vodafone’s network travels on 3G, in comparison to more than 30% in 2016.
Vodafone will begin a campaign of communication to customers and will continue to share information, advice and guidance to customers to ensure they can stay connected during the change next year.
“We’re building one of the UK’s most reliable mobile networks and focusing on the technologies that best connect our customers and have the least impact on the environment,” said Ahmed Essam, Vodafone’s UK CEO. “3G has connected so many customers over the last 17 years, but the future is 4G and 5G.
“We’re going to be focused on giving customers a faster and more reliable mobile experience and minimising our impact on the environment by taking away a layer of our network that uses inefficient equipment.
“Our goal is for everyone to stay connected and we’ll be doing everything we can to make sure that’s the case. During the campaign, we’ll be asking customers not just to make sure that their phone supports 4G and 4G calling, but also to check in on friends and family.”
The retirement of Vodafone’s 3G network is also an important part of the strategy to reach net zero by 2027, with modern 5G networks more than 10-times as energy efficient as old 3G equipment.
To ensure customers across the UK understand what is happening and how they can stay connected, Vodafone is initiating a year-long communications campaign to help those who may need additional support. As part of the campaign, Vodafone will encourage its more tech-savvy customers to check in on friends and family. Vodafone is also partnering with The Good Things Foundation and other third parties to ensure the campaign reaches the most vulnerable consumers.Click below to share this article