Thu. May 23rd, 2024

The end of the 3G era: New Zealand is shutting down legacy mobile networks

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar May15,2024

The end of the 3G era: New Zealand shuts down legacy mobile networks

New Zealand's mobile operators – 2degrees, One NZ and Spark – by the end of 2025, they will completely turn off outdated 3G networks. In this way, they plan to free up the spectrum for the deployment of more modern and faster 4G and 5G technologies.

Why does such a transition occur? First, 3G no longer satisfies the rising demand of users for data transmission and access to multimedia services. 2degrees explains that the demand for 3G devices has fallen significantly, so the company has already stopped selling them in 2022. One NZ notes that the transition to 4G/5G will improve the quality of voice communication and the speed of data transfer.

Secondly, the released frequency spectrum will be used to expand the availability of the latest mobile technologies throughout the country. In particular, Spark emphasizes that switching off 3G will facilitate the wider deployment of 5G, even in rural New Zealand.

For average users who already have modern 4G/5G devices, this transformation will be seamless. However, those who are still using old 3G phones, tablets or smart gadgets must replace them by the end of 2025 in order not to lose their connection.

The 3G shutdown timetable is as follows: One NZ will shut down the network on 31 March 2025, 2degrees and Spark – at the end of 2025. However, operators warn that even after turning off 3G, outdated devices will still work in the second generation network for some time, but with very low Internet speed and call quality. However, the 2G network will also be turned off at the end of 2025.

For consumers, this means the need for timely replacement of outdated gadgets. Operators have already sent out the first notifications, and by the end of 2024 they will individually inform all 3G users about the appropriate steps. After all, without updating devices to 4G/5G, people risk losing access to mobile Internet, calls and even emergency calls.

Those subscribers whose devices turn out to be incompatible with the new networks will be able to choose a replacement from a wide range of 4G/5G- gadgets offered by all three operators. And it would be better to hand over old, unnecessary models for recycling to operator stores through the nationwide RE:MOBILE scheme, which operates on the territory of New Zealand.

For enterprises and other corporate customers, the process of transition to new technologies can be more complicated. In particular, 3G powers many more Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including various sensors, trackers and security systems. They must also be replaced or transferred to new networks in a timely manner. To help businesses in such matters, operators offer special support.

Of course, the process of network modernization also faces certain incomprehensible moments. In particular, there remains the question of 4G/5G coverage in remote regions of the country, where only 3G currently works. Also unresolved is the future of mobile communications for vulnerable populations and the possibility of international roaming after the 3G shutdown. However, the operators assure that they are working on it.

In general, the planned switch-off of legacy 3G networks will be an important step for the development of high-speed mobile communications in New Zealand. The transition to the latest 4G and 5G technologies will provide access to modern Internet services and multimedia content, as well as improve the quality of calls.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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