3G Shutdown is Coming – Act Now to Prevent Business Disruption

blog image_3g shutdown

It’s been a long time coming, but as the sunsetting of Australia’s 3G coverage inches ever closer to the horizon, it’s important to take practical steps to smooth the transition to new network connectivity in your organisation. If you want to prevent business disruption and negative customer experiences, planning now is essential.

The low-band frequencies that 3G operates on are being repurposed to support more 4G LTE and 5G services, meaning the close of the 3G service will render older phones and many other devices that work on 3G unfit for purpose. Besides mobile phones, 3G-reliant devices that will no longer be able to transmit and receive data include:

  • EFTPOS terminals
  • Industrial routers
  • Scanners
  • Security monitoring
  • Telematics
  • Asset tracking
  • Environment monitoring

By some estimations, there’s between two and three million active IoT and other devices operating on 3G in this country, translating to the spectre of serious risk implications for many businesses. Healthcare, utilities, and emergency services providers are all major users of 3G-enabled devices. But there are many other organisations reliant on industrial IoT applications that are built for 3G.


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3G Network Shutdown

To ensure uninterrupted service delivery, it’s critical to plan now and migrate 3G assets to LTE or 5G well before the network shutdown to mitigate security risk. Having a clear migration plan and understanding the company’s needs for existing and future devices are critical factors in bringing about a smooth transition and selecting the most suitable network technology for business requirements. While crafting an achievable timeline is also important, it’s essential not to underestimate the time it can take to switch on modern network connectivity.

In some cases, you need to plan for around 18 months to complete a tightly planned and finely executed migration. Considering there may be a need to completely re-evaluate IoT solutions and some legacy equipment like antennas may not be compatible with 4G, you need to account for hardware and equipment upgrades. Where hardware needs to be sourced from overseas, there’s also a significant lag time that must be factored in. 

Another option to consider is Telstra’s Enhanced Enterprise Wireless solution with a managed service delivered by imei. Adopting this scenario, we will work with you to maximise reliable connectivity and elevate your business readiness to take advantage of 5G. As an accredited Telstra 5G Partner and Certified Cradlepoint partner for 5G, imei’s professional and managed services are here to assist in designing and maintaining secure 5G internet connectivity. 


3G transition strategy 

Whatever stage your company is at in the migration to 4G LTE and 5G, make this your wake-up call to bed down your transition strategy. Remember, the impact of 3G closure will reach far beyond mobile phones and has the potential to impact your organization’s security. 

With demands on 4G and 5G-enabled technology only set to snowball as the cut-off date for 3G approaches, it’s important to start the migration process without further delay. For help with your 3G transition strategy, talk to the professional services team at imei. We can help you take stock of your 3G-only devices and support the timely execution of your migration plan with our team of certified and trained experts. 

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Topics: Connectivity Network 5G