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Important changes to the 3G mobile network

The Optus 3G mobile network used by AGL mobile is closing from September 2024. Find out if this affects you and what to do next. 

The Optus 3G mobile network is closing

Mobile technology has changed a lot since the 3G network was first launched back in 2003. Optus is now closing their 3G network and repurposing it to provide greater speed, capacity and reliability for their 4G and 5G networks.

How 3G devices will be affected

After the 3G network closes from September 2024, 3G services will no longer be available on the Optus network.

If you have a 3G device, you’ll be unable to make calls (including 000 emergency calls), send texts or access the internet on the Optus network.

Affected devices could include mobile phones, tablets and personal medical or security devices. You’ll need to upgrade to a 4G or 5G compatible device to stay connected.

Check if your device will be affected

Most devices won’t be affected and will still work on the 4G and 5G network. The network closure will affect devices that:

  • can only operate using the 3G network
  • don’t support Voice over LTE (VoLTE) calls.

See if your mobile phone or tablet is in our list of commonly affected 3G devices.

Mobile Phones

Alcatel 2038
Alcatel OneTouch 2045
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5C
Apple iPhone 5S
Aspera A42
Doro 6521
Doro PhoneEasy 623 OPTUS
Google Pixel 2 XL
Huawei E5251s-2
Huawei E5331
Huawei Y6 Prime
Nokia 301
OPPO A57 (2016)
OPPO F1s
OPPO F5 Youth
Optus X Smart
Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini
Samsung Galaxy S5
ZTE Blade A0605

Tablets

iPad Air
iPad Retina 
iPad mini Retina 
iPad mini

Note: Due to the large number of available brands and models, we can’t provide a comprehensive list of all devices that may be affected. If you’re not sure if your device can use 4G or 5G, check with the device’s user manual or manufacturer.

If you have a device that can use 4G but doesn’t support VoLTE, from September 2024 it will not be able to make or receive voice calls, including 000 emergency calls on the Optus network. Learn more about making phone calls using VoLTE.

Check your device is compatible with the LTE 700 MHz (B28) spectrum

LTE 700 MHz is the low band 4G spectrum used by Optus for optimal 4G coverage. Not all devices are compatible with this spectrum – even recent models purchased in Australia or overseas could be affected. 

4G devices that are incompatible with L700 MHz will still be able to access the Optus network, but they will have significantly less Optus coverage.

If you’re not sure if your device is compatible with LTE 700 MHz, check with the device’s user manual or manufacturer.

Other devices that may be affected

Personal medical or security devices that rely on the 3G network will stop working from September 2024. Check with the device’s manual or manufacturer to see if this affects you and upgrade any affected devices as soon as possible.

Other impacted devices may still work but will have reduced network coverage. 

3G devices: what you need to know

If your device can only use 3G, you’ll need to upgrade to a 4G or 5G device before the 3G network closure commences in September 2024.

You can buy a 4G or 5G compatible device or ask your family and friends if they have a spare one you could use. Be sure to check the device’s manual or manufacturer to make sure it’s compatible.

Do I need to upgrade my mobile SIM plan as well?

No, you do not need to change your mobile SIM plan. Your new device will work on the existing plan.

Will I need a new SIM card if I change devices?

epending on what type of device you get, you may be able to keep using your current SIM card. If your current SIM card won’t fit in your new device or you’re not sure, contact us.

You might be able to use an eSIM in your new device. See the AGL eSIM guide.

Will 4G and 5G cover locations that currently have 3G coverage?

Check out the network coverage map to see the Optus coverage for your area.

What should I do with my old 3G phone?

We recommend you recycle your old 3G phone with MobileMuster. They accept all brands of mobile phones, chargers and accessories for recycling.

They have drop-off boxes in over 3,000 stores nationwide, or you can use their free post-back options.

Visit MobileMuster

Making phone calls using VoLTE

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) lets you make phone calls over the 4G (LTE) network. Your mobile device will use 4G to make and receive calls in areas where 4G (LTE) is available.

When the Optus 3G network closes, VoLTE will be required to make or receive phone calls on the Optus mobile network.

If you have a 3G mobile device, you must upgrade to a 4G or 5G mobile device that is VoLTE capable and compatible before September 2024.

If you have a 4G compatible mobile device that doesn’t support VoLTE, from September 2024 it will not be able to make or receive voice calls, including 000 emergency calls on the Optus network. It will still be able to use mobile data.

Make sure your 4G device has VoLTE turned on

Most devices are already VoLTE enabled, but some older devices require you to enable VoLTE.

Check that your 4G device’s VoLTE setting is turned on so you can keep making voice calls after the 3G network closes.

Check your Apple iPhone’s VoLTE settings

  1. Go to your phone’s Settings and select Mobile or Mobile Data.
  2. Select Mobile Data Options > Voice & Data.
  3. If you see 4G with a VoLTE setting, make sure it’s turned on.
  4. If you see both 4G and 5G, you don’t need to do anything – VoLTE is already enabled.

Check other devices' VoLTE settings

Refer to your user manual to check that VoLTE is enabled, as instructions may vary for different device models and types.

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