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3G Retirement

This page contains:

  • Latest Update 

  • What will happen when 3G is retired? 

  • What is replacing 3G?  

  • Do I need to replace or upgrade my device? 

  • Other devices that may be affected 

Mobile service providers are gradually phasing out their 3G networks and will continue to do so in the coming months and years. This will allow the providers to focus on increasing the deployment of more advanced technologies, 4G and 5G.  

Latest Update 

Vodafone has begun to switch off parts of its 3G network and intends to fully retire 3G services in 2024.
Clear Mobile and An Post use the Vodafone network, so this means that 3G services for its customers will also be retired.

  • More information for Vodafone and Clear Mobile customers can be found here.
  • An Post mobile customers can find more information here.
  • Each mobile service provider will begin this retirement process in their own time, and consumers will be notified by their provider in advance of any planned changes to their service.

What will happen when 3G is retired? 

Older mobile devices that can connect only to 3G and 2G networks will continue to make and receive phone calls over the 2G network, but data services will be affected. This means your ability to connect to the web (via apps and browsers, etc.) will be slower.  

For those with a 4G or 5 G-enabled smartphone or device, this change is not likely to affect you. 

Your mobile provider might contact you in due course to let you know if you are affected and what steps you need to take. You should check with your mobile provider for the latest updates and news on their plans to retire 3G. 

What is replacing 3G?  

The retirement of 3G services means mobile providers will have more resources to improve both their 4G and 5G networks. Both 4G and 5G provide faster internet speeds, better signal quality and improved mobile service for customers.  

Do I need to replace or upgrade my device? 

If you are using an older device that doesn’t support 4G or 5G, you may need to get a new handset if you wish to continue using mobile data services.  

Older devices will continue to support data services on the 2G network but with much slower data speeds. Your mobile provider may be in contact to offer you an upgrade or you can get in touch with them to find out what they can do to help. 

Other devices that may be affected 

Mobile devices are not the only devices affected by the 3G network retirement. Here we have listed a number of types of devices which may no longer work once 3G has been phased out. To ensure your device continues to work following the phasing out process, or to see if you need to upgrade or to purchase a new SIM, we advise checking your device or contacting your supplier.  

A list of other types of devices that may be affected (provided as guidance only): 

  • Some vehicles use 3G networks for updates and remote communication. Check with your local dealer to learn more.
    Tesla has published information here. 
  • Monitored care alarm devices (fall detectors, communicators, etc.) 
  • Security alarms 
  • Fire alarms 
  • Point of Sale (POS) card payment terminals 
  • Inventory trackers 
  • Smartwatches 
  • E-readers (Kindles, Nooks, etc.) 
  • GPS trackers (including for pets) 
  • Safety devices 
  • Automated Electric Gates 
  • Water features/fountains 
  • Heating systems 


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