Your Guide To The 3G Network Closure And Upgrading Your Smartphone


April 22, 2024 - 3 min read 


You might have heard that the 3G Mobile network is being shut down across Australia this year, and if you’re wondering what that means and how you’ll be affected, you’re not alone. We sat down with the mobile phone experts at The Good Guys and Telstra to answer all of your 3G-related questions and help you prepare for the changes that are coming.


From the key dates to add to your calendar to the new smartphones and mobile plans that will keep you connected, here’s everything you need to know.

Family and couple on their new phones.

What Does The 3G Shutdown Mean?

And for that matter, what is 3G?


Put simply, the 3G Mobile network is Australia’s third generation of wireless mobile telecommunications tech. It’s the tech that lets us make wireless phone calls, surf the web, text and use apps on our smart devices.


Commercial Engineering Executive at Telstra Sri Amirthalingam says demand for mobile data is growing by around 30 per cent every year, bringing with it the need for a more robust network.

“As our technology and our use cases change, we need a network that is fit for today and for the future. That’s why we continue to upgrade the technology that underpins our mobile network from 3G to 4G and now 5G.” Sri says.

When Does 3G End In Australia?

Sooner than you might think, so make note of these important 3G Mobile network closure Australia dates:

  • Telstra 3G closure: August 31, 2024

  • Optus 3G closure: September, 2024

  • Vodafone 3G closure: Already shut down

Motorolla and TCL phone

How Do I Know If My Device Is 3G Only?

Switch off Wi-Fi on your mobile phone and see what appears in the status bar in the top right corner. If you don’t see 4G LTE or 5G, it’s likely a 3G phone or tablet that won’t work after the shut-off.


Smartwatches and mobile hotspots may also be impacted by the 3G closure – just check with the manufacturer or your telco provider if you’re unsure if you’ll be affected.


“If you’re a Telstra customer, or if you have a device that uses Telstra’s mobile network, you can find out if your mobile phone is impacted by texting ‘3’ to 3498,” Sri Amirthalingam says.

“Many of our best and most affordable mobile phone brands have now released their 2024 ranges, so it’s the perfect time to upgrade to a phone with up-to-the-minute tech.” - John Wong, The Good Buys Buyer – Mobiles and Plans

How Can I Be Prepared For The 3G Mobile Network Shutdown?

Wondering Will I be affected by the 3G shutdown? or Will my phone work after the 3G shutdown? We’ve got you covered. Since the vast majority of smartphone users in Australia are already connected to the upgraded and faster 4G and 5G networks, nothing will change. But, if you have an older model mobile phone, tablet or connected device with only 3G specification, you will need to upgrade. Here’s what you need to do:


To-Dos For 3G Users

If your mobile phone or tablet (or security camera!) only receives 3G network coverage then you won’t be able to receive any internet or phone signal when the network closes. The silver lining is you get to upgrade!


“Many of our best and most affordable mobile phone brands have now released their 2024 ranges, so it’s the perfect time to upgrade to a phone with up-to-the-minute tech,” says John Wong, The Good Guys Buyer – Mobiles and Plans. “The new Samsung A series, for example, have  Vision Booster, a feature that allows for perfect visibility in any conditions, while Motorola’s moto g04 has Dolby Atmos sound built in for clear-as-a-bell conversations.” 


Shop 4G-Enabled Smartphones

Top Value Mobile Phones: 

Motorola g04 64GB Concord Black

TCL 505 128GB Space Grey

Motorola g24 4G 128GB – Matte Charcoal

OPPO A38 128GB Glowing Gold

TCL 50 SE 256GB Space Grey

Samsung Galaxy A05S 128GB Black

OPPO A58 128GB Glowing Black

Apple iPhone 11 64GB Black

Product images of the OPPO A38 in Glowing Gold

Now could be the perfect opportunity to upgrade to the latest and greatest. From impressive camera quality to capture your precious moments to faster processors ensuring smooth multitasking, the latest phones are designed to keep up with you.


Top Premium Mobile Phones: 

Samsung Galaxy S24 256GB Onyx Black

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 256GB Cream

Apple iPhone 15 128GB Black

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max 256GB Natural Titanium

Motorola edge 50 Pro 256GB Luxe Lavender

Product images of Samsung Galaxy S24

To-Dos For Some 4G Devices 

There are a few older (pre-2019) 4G mobile phones that still rely on the 3G network to make calls. Mobile phones that are more than four years old, or were purchased overseas, should be checked. 4G mobile phones without VoLTE (Voice over LTE) capability, will be impacted by the upcoming 3G network closure.


To activate 4G LTE on Android OS devices:

Open "Settings"

Tap on "Connections"

Tap on "Mobile Networks"

Tap on "Network Mode"

Choose "4G”.


To activate 4G LTE on iOS devices:

Open “Settings”

Tap on “Mobile”

Tap on “Mobile Data Options”

Tap on “Voice and Data”

Choose “4G/LTE”.

Stay Connected With The Good Guys

Visit us at your local The Good Guys store and we can hook you up with the latest and greatest smartphone range, at The Good Guys we’ve also got the perfect plan to help you get connected. If your existing plan is up for renewal or needing to explore other great options The Good Guys Mobile and Broadband plans will connect you to the full geographic coverage of the Telstra network so you get greater reliability and faster speeds. Plus, there are bonus offers up for grabs if you switch from another carrier other than Telstra! Click on link for further details


Is it time you upgraded your mobile phone? Check out our Mobile Phone Buying Guide then visit us in-store or online to shop our huge range.

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