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Gloucestershire Business News

EE to close its 3G network in January

Mobile phone users are being urged to check their handsets as the 3G switch-off is set to begin in the new year.

All UK mobile network operators have committed to closing their 3G networks so they can focus on strengthening the newer 4G and 5G networks, giving a better connectivity experience to customers.

EE will be saying goodbye to 3G during January with Vodafone turning off its 3G network from February. O2 aren't set to follow suit until 2025.

If you are using the EE mobile service on 4G or 5G capable devices, there is nothing for you to do other than check your settings to ensure that 4G or 5G is turned on.

If you are using the EE mobile service on devices that are not 4G or 5G capable, once the 3G mobile service is withdrawn, your EE mobile service will revert to 2G coverage only. You will still maintain voice and SMS functionality on 2G but will cease to have functional data services.

Simon Gardner, sales manager of Stonehouse-based Lister Unified Communications, said: "We're all used to networks talking about new networks coming but this is the first time for quite some time that the networks will be turning off networks.

"For some people it will mean absolutely nothing because they have got a good 4G, 5G signal in their house or office, wherever they are.. But for other people who only have 3G signal in their house or office, that's going to disappear.

"The other effect will be on people who have very old handsets that only use 2G or 3G - what I would call a 'dumb phone', not a smart phone. If your mum or dad keeps that really old spare phone in the car that's not a smartphone, those are going to be seriously reduced in what coverage they can get.

"So it's a general call if you're using old, old phones, you might want to double check what networks that handset can use and if it's only 3G and you are on EE you'll need to get a new phone."

Simon added: "From a handset point of view, not very many people will be affected but coverage wise there's a lot more people who will start to notice. It might just be that at the front of your house or office you can make calls no problem at all but at the back you're only getting 3G and you will notice that you suddenly can't make calls at the back of the building.

"What the networks are doing is turning 3G off and reusing the frequency for 4G and or 5G. So we've got that old network it's been around for ages, we're going to switch them off. 3G was launched in the UK in 2003 but it's old.

"So my advice would be to check your phone if it's an old one. If it's a smartphone you should be fine, but if you start to notice coverage difference in January and you're with EE that's what's happening. And if you're a business, talk to us!"

To contact Lister Unified Communications, call 01453 829200, email  or visit 

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