Vodafone to switch off its UK 3G network by the end of 2023

Following successful switch-off pilots across Plymouth and Basingstoke in February 2023, Vodafone has announced plans to start switching off the remainder of its UK 3G network from June 2023.

The decision to switch off 3G – which is in line with all UK mobile network operators – will see 3G coverage gradually phased out and replaced by strengthened 4G and 5G services, meaning customers across more parts of the UK can access more reliable connectivity. Vodafone’s 2G network, which currently covers over 99 per cent of the UK population, will remain in place for calls and texts. 

The retirement of Vodafone’s 3G network is also an important part of the strategy to reach Net Zero for its UK operation by 2027, with modern 5G networks being much more energy efficientSending a terabyte of data across the 5G network uses just 7 per cent of the energy used to send the same amount of data across the 3G network. 

The national shutdown will happen in phases throughout the remainder of 2023, starting in June with Hull, Oxford and Greater London, before progressing across the South. The remainder of the UK will follow later in the year.

Vodafone has information available to make sure that consumers are aware of 3G switch-off and have the information they need to prepare, as well as helping friends, family members and loved ones to do the same – more information is available here. This includes instructions on how to check if a mobile device is 4G capable, and how to carry out software upgrades where required. It also contains further information on services such as 4G Callingwhich enables customers to make and receive calls over the 4G network.