Three UK confirms it will switch off 3G at the end of 2024

12 May 2022

British cellco Three UK has announced that it plans to switch off its 3G network at the end of 2024 as its investments in 4G and 5G technology gather pace. In a press release outlining its plans, Three UK claimed that the ability to switch off its 3G network ‘is enabled by significant investments in 4G and 5G in recent years including the acquisition of the UK’s largest 5G spectrum portfolio’. According to the mobile network operator (MNO), turning off 3G will allow it to focus investments and spectrum resources on further improving 4G customer experience, while rolling out 5G. As part of a newly released study by Three UK, ‘Mobile Britain 2022’, the company reported that 5G usage has exceeded 3G already, with the number of 5G devices on the MNO’s network quadrupling; the cellco meanwhile predicts that 5G will account for 35% of data usage by the end of 2022.

Commenting, Three UK’s Chief Technology Officer, David Hennessy, said: ‘3G kick-started the mobile revolution – and launched Three into the UK 20 years ago – but the future is undoubtedly 5G. As we continue to roll out our ultrafast connectivity, by not only upgrading our existing 4G sites but building new 5G sites, we’ll be in a position to switch off our use of 3G across our network by the end of 2024.’

United Kingdom, Hutchison 3G UK (Three UK)