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Vodafone 3G sunset: What you need to know

Vodafone 3G sunset: What you need to know

As an IoT business based in the UK, we understand the importance of staying up to date with the latest developments in the telecommunications industry. Recently, Vodafone announced their plans to retire their 3G network in 2023 as part of a 5-year plan to modernise connectivity and strengthen their 4G and 5G networks.

This decision comes just weeks after the UK government introduced the Telecommunications Security Act, which included provisions to shutdown legacy networks and free up the spectrum for the roll-out of 5G and other future networks.

Keep reading to find out what’s happening with the Vodafone 3G sunset, its implications for customers, and what you can do to prepare for the switch-off. We hope this information will be helpful as you consider your IoT SIM options and plan for the future.

Why is Vodafone phasing out its 3G network?

As technology continues to evolve, networks must also adapt and modernise in order to provide the best possible service. That’s why Vodafone has announced that they will begin retiring their 3G network in 2023, as part of a 5-year plan to improve connectivity and offer strengthened 4G and 5G experiences for all users.

There are several reasons for this decision. Firstly, 3G technology is now almost 20 years old, and Vodafone wants to focus their efforts on improving and expanding their newer 4G and 5G networks. The 3G network currently only carries around 4% of data traversed across Vodafone’s infrastructure, compared to over 30% in 2016. In contrast, 4G and 5G offer faster speeds and more reliable connectivity, making them a better choice for modern users who rely on their data for both personal and business use.

Another reason for the 3G switch-off is the need to repurpose the spectrum band that carries 3G traffic. The 900 MHz spectrum band is extremely useful as it allows signal to travel long distances and provides good indoor coverage. By repurposing this spectrum for 4G and 5G traffic, Vodafone can offer users even more coverage and reliability.

Finally, the retirement of Vodafone’s 3G network is part of the company’s strategy to reach net zero by 2027. Modern 5G networks are more energy efficient than older 3G equipment, so by phasing out 3G, Vodafone can reduce its carbon footprint and have a positive impact on the environment.

Overall, the decision to phase out 3G is about providing Vodafone users with the best possible connectivity and ensuring that the company is prepared for the future. While 3G has served Vodafone well for the past 17 years, the future is in 4G and 5G, and Vodafone has committed to giving their users a faster and more reliable data experience.

What does the Vodafone 3G sunset mean for users?

The Vodafone 3G sunset is set to have a significant impact on mobile users across the UK. Whilst the majority of users are likely to be unaffected by the switch, there are still hundreds of thousands of businesses who rely on 3G-only SIMs, particularly users who may need to invest in restructuring their connectivity environment.

In addition, there are also areas of the UK, including parts of Cornwall, rural Scotland and north Norfolk, where 3G coverage is the only option for users. These areas may experience a disruption to their mobile service when the 3G network is switched off.

Vodafone is working to ensure that no customers are left in the digital dark when the 3G signal is turned off. The company is launching an awareness campaign and partnering organisations to help support customers during the transition period. However, it is important for all 3G users to be aware of the upcoming switch-off and to consider upgrading their SIMs and connectivity systems to newer models with 4G and 5G capabilities.

It is worth noting that while 3G connectivity will no longer work on the Vodafone network after the sunset, 3G will still be available in the UK via alternative network providers. However, as all major mobile operators in the UK have agreed to switch off their 2G and 3G networks by 2033, it is likely that 3G coverage will become increasingly scarce in the coming years.

How can InfiSIM help during the 3G sunset?

InfiSIM is here to help businesses navigate the Vodafone 3G sunset and ensure a smooth transition to 4G and 5G networks. If you’re using 3G devices and are concerned about losing connectivity due to the connectivity protocol being phased out, we have the in-house expertise to point you in the right direction and futureproof your operations.

In addition, our team of experts can advise you on the best M2M SIM card options for your specific needs. We understand that the transition to 4G and 5G can be overwhelming, especially for those who may be using hundreds, if not thousands of M2M SIM cards. That’s why we offer support and guidance every step of the way.

At InfiSIM, we’re committed to helping our customers stay connected and up to date with the latest technology. If you’re looking for a reliable and trustworthy partner during the Vodafone 3G sunset, look no further.

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