BT switches off final UK 3G site

BT Broadband
(Image credit: BT)

BT has announced that the final station in its 3G network has been switched off, marking the end of EE’s 3G network that has served the UK for more than 20 years.

Much of the UK has switched to the much faster provisions of 4G and 5G, with rumors of network providers piloting 6G technology by the end of the decade.

In total 18,000 3G sites have been shut down since January, with BT closely monitoring the process to ensure a smooth sundown.

Goodnight 3G, you served us well

In a statement, BT Chief Networks Officer Greg McCall said, “We have now successfully completed the nationwide closure of our 3G network, resulting in big improvements for both our customers and the environment.

“Those 3G customers who have transitioned to our 4G and 5G networks are now enjoying more reliable and widespread mobile coverage with faster mobile internet speeds, while switching off 3G has already saved enough energy to charge nearly one billion smartphones.”

McCall further stated that BT will continue to monitor and improve the coverage and performance of the other networks offered by BT, including its 2G network upon which voice calls and texts rely upon. It is for this reason that 3G was shut down, as no vital services relied upon it and later generation networks superseded its offerings.

In a previous statement from December 2023, McCall stated that it would be assisting the ‘small minority’ still reliant on 3G with a support team “committed to ensuring all of them, especially vulnerable customers, have the support available to help them make the transition successfully if they want to.”

The telecoms giant also announced that they would be providing vulnerable customers with free 4G ready phones to keep them connected.

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Benedict Collins
Staff Writer (Security)

Benedict Collins is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro covering privacy and security. Benedict is mainly focused on security issues such as phishing, malware, and cyber criminal activity, but also likes to draw on his knowledge of geopolitics and international relations to understand the motivations and consequences of state-sponsored cyber attacks. Benedict has a MA in Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy, alongside a BA in Politics with Journalism, both from the University of Buckingham.