Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Telstra extends 3G deadline to August 31

The June 3G shut down date is coming up fast, but because it may be too short a time, Telstra is extending things.

If you’re a little concerned by the 3G shut-down date from Telstra at the end of June, Australia’s biggest telco is giving a slight reprieve, even if it’s only by a couple of months.

As of May, the original June deadline for Telstra’s decommissioning of the 3G network is now moving to August 31, 2024, giving Australians a little bit more time to find out whether they need to move to a new phone, while also possibly giving the telco more time to get the 3G network to 4G parity, a promise the telco has made previously.

The new August 31 shut down date was announced this week on the Telstra Exchange blog, with Telstra noting that the extension provides “more time and further support”.

With Optus shutting down its 3G network mid-September, that puts Telstra’s shutdown date closer to Telstra’s, and could encourage everyone using 3G in some form to act quickly.

A spokesperson for Telstra told Pickr that it picked two months because it believes “an additional two months is the right amount of time for our customers to finalise the upgrade of their devices.”

The company also noted its work on getting 4G up to the same level of reach as 3G is going well, telling Pickr that:

Telstra has been making good progress over recent years in upgrading our 3G network sites, with 99 percent of upgrades now complete. We made a commitment to expand our 4G coverage to be equivalent to existing 3G coverage and we are still on track to meet that.

Checking the Telstra maps, much of that seems to be right, though there are clearly still 3G patches (teal) where 4G (green) isn’t hitting, giving Telstra more work to do in the lead up to the 3G shutdown.

Telstra notes that in the coming weeks, customers who have yet to upgrade will hear a short pre-recorded message on affected mobiles when making an outgoing call.

A slightly more intrusive reminder of a need to upgrade, this method will join Telstra’s mobile 3498 text service which can be used to check whether a phone will be supported on the 4G network.

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