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A date has been put on the 3G switch-off, so what does this mean for your business?

It’s had a good run, but 4G and 5G have taken on the baton: they’re faster, more efficient, and they’re leaving 3G behind.

Ofcom announced earlier this year that by 2033 all UK network providers plan to shut down their 2G and 3G networks. The US has already seen the lights going out on its 3G networks with many of its main providers having switched them off, and more planning to do so by the end of 2022 (TechRadar). 2G is already obsolete in Canada and Australia, with providers paving the way for better services to run at full speed.

Take a look at the timeline below to see when the four main providers of mobile networks are planning to switch-off their 3G in the UK:

3G Switch-Off Timeline v3-01


3G is currently taking up a significant amount of the real-estate network that providers use to transmit mobile signals. It means that 4G and 5G don’t have the breadth for their smoother and more reliable connections, providers can’t maximise their potential. By removing 3G, the providers can focus on optimising the future of connectivity in 4G and 5G.


The standard voice and SMS services we use today rely on 2G/3G networks to work. This poses a problem as 4G and 5G, as advanced as they are, only provide data connections which don't support standard Voice/SMS services.

To get around this, networks have built data-based voice/SMS solutions, such as Voice over WiFi and Voice over LTE, that work in a similar way to digital voice (Voice over IP) services through your mobile's data connection. Unfortunately, not every mobile network or mobile device supports these data-based solutions.


Switch-off and let us do the work. Partnering with Intercity means you don’t have to overhaul all of your company’s devices by yourself, we can manage all your different accounts and ensure you’re well-prepared for the 3G switch-off.

Make the pass of the baton as smooth as possible, reach out to our experts to find out your best available options!