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Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Telia will shut down the 3G network by the end of 2023

The freed frequencies will be used to improve 4G and 5G capabilities.

3G mobiilside mast

Telia will be the first operator in Estonia to shut down their 3G network by the end of next year. The 3G network will be shut down in 2023 by stages and regions so as to minimise inconvenience to customers.

A network that uses third-generation mobile technology, i.e. 3G, can be used to transmit both data and calls. Today, the vast majority of data communication moves through the 4G network, and much of it will soon be moving to the 5G network. Thus, the 3G is already mostly being used to transmit voice communications.

According to Telia, the volume of calls in the 3G network has decreased significantly since 2016. The majority of Telia’s clients already use VoLTE-enabled phones that use the 4G network to provide a better-quality voice communication service. Phones with 4G voice communication support constituted 55% of Telia’s network in the beginning of 2021 and had increased to 71% by March 2022. According to Telia’s Head of Technology, all Telia’s countries of location in the Baltic States and Nordic countries have decided to shut down their 3G networks. The 3G network has already been shut down in Norway and will be shut down in Lithuania later this year.

Nothing will change for the clients whose phones have VoLTE support. Those using older phones, however, may find themselves in a situation where they can no longer make calls with their phone once the 3G network has been shut down. Telia therefore recommends users to timely start using a VoLTE-enabled phone that is future-proof and offers much better call quality. It is also worth inspecting the USB and wireless modems as well as devices in use that only have 3G support. Those should also be replaced in a timely manner. Telia’s 2G network used by a very large proportion of security and automation devices will remain operational in the coming years.