Unified World Communication is excited to share the latest advancements in the telecommunications industry, as two major players, Vodafone UK and EE (BT), successfully complete the shutdown of their legacy 3G networks in the United Kingdom.

Vodafone UK Boosts 4G and 5G Services by Switching Off 3G Network

Vodafone UK has accomplished a significant milestone by successfully switching off its 3G network across the country. The move, part of a comprehensive network modernisation program, allows Vodafone to repurpose the last remaining 3G radio frequencies to strengthen both its 4G and 5G services.

Customers in various parts of the UK will now enjoy faster data services and clearer voice calls, thanks to the repurposing of the spectrum. Vodafone initiated an extensive customer awareness campaign starting in January 2022, ensuring that affected customers were informed and assisted with necessary actions like software upgrades and service activations.

Andrea Dona, Vodafone’s UK Network Director, expressed gratitude to the team for the successful completion of the 3G legacy switch-off. The retirement of the 3G network is not only a strategic move to improve services but also aligns with Vodafone’s commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2027, as modern 5G networks are significantly more energy-efficient than their 3G counterparts.

Furthermore, as part of the proposed merger with Three UK, Vodafone UK has pledged a substantial investment of £11 billion over the next decade, aiming to deliver 5G Standalone (5G SA) to 99% of the UK population by 2034.

EE Completes Shutdown of 3G Network, Enhances 4G and 5G Services

In a parallel development, EE (BT) has published a progress update on its nationwide effort to switch off the old 3G data network. The update reveals that the last of 18,000 3G sites, located in Belfast, was taken offline last week, completing the shutdown process.

EE began transitioning customers away from the 3G network last year, with the final switch-off phase running from January to March 2024. The radio spectrum freed up by retiring the 3G technology will contribute to improving the performance and coverage of EE’s more modern 4G and 5G networks.

Greg McCall, BT’s Chief Networks Officer, highlighted the responsible and methodical approach taken during the nationwide 3G switch-off. The move has resulted in not only better services for customers but also significant energy savings. Turning off 3G has already saved enough energy to charge nearly one billion smartphones.

Unified World Communication celebrates these milestones as both Vodafone UK and EE contribute to the industry’s broader goals of network modernisation, improved energy efficiency, and enhanced connectivity experiences for customers.

Stay tuned for more updates on the ever-evolving landscape of unified communication and connectivity.