When Will 3G Be Phased Out?

Some of the major mobile service providers have collectively decided to shut down 3G service all over the globe by the end of the year 2022.

One of those companies include AT & T, the major impact for this would be directly on the older devices and phones which will no longer be able to support the 3G network.

These changes are essentially a strategic move to introduce the 5G network to a greater audience. 5G is definitely the future which is why the major cell phone service providers are working towards the next best network.

Since the 3G shutdown is being carried on a global scale it is wise to know that IoT and M2M devices which require the use of 2G or 3G will no longer be relevant.

When Will 3G Be Phased Out?

The users of the 3G network are requested to contact their service providers regarding the exact date and time of the shutdown. But just in case, you are requested to opt for devices which support 4G or 5G connectivity.

Verizon’s 3G network will shut down by December 31, 2022. The carriers say that they will contact you by phone or postcard if the shutdown affects you. T-Mobile will finish shutting down Sprint’s 3G network, also known as CDMA, on March 31, 2022 and retire Sprint’s LTE network by June 30, 2022.

The users of 2G or 3G network will be notified through texts and pop-up messages way before the company decides to pause their service for good.

Here’s a list of major global companies which have decided to take the leap and focus on a service with better network connectivity:

  • Telkom and Vodacom- South Africa
  • Unicom and China Mobile- China
  • Airtel, Idea and Vodafone- India
  • NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, SoftBank- Japan
  • Telenor, Mobilink- Pakistan
  • Vodafone- Europe
  • Deutsche, Telefonica and Vodafone – Germany

The 3G services in Japan as listed above are likely to shut down by the year 2025, as for all the other nations listed above, the shutdown is either scheduled for the end of the year 2022 or they have already been shut back in 2020 or 2021.

This is only a small list of the major global companies which have decided to move towards the provision of 4G VolTE or the 5G network for good.

This transition from 3G to 4G or 5G is for the cost efficiency and greater network coverage of the other networks. 4G VoLTE is arguably more cost efficient as of today.

Since 5G is currently not as scalable as the 4G network it is important to note that the 4G network is here to stay for a long period. 

In order to make the 5G network accessible the service providers have to install macro-wireless towers within a range of 500 meters for the network to penetrate glass and walls of the buildings.

How Long Will 3G Be Around?

The deployment of the 3G network will certainly have a toll on the IoT and M2M devices which can only be supported by the slower 2G and 3G connections.

Speaking from a global perspective it is safe to say that the process of deployment has already been started by the cell service providers across the continents of Europe, Africa, North and South America and Asia.

Let us take a look at the service providers of these continents and get a gist of the respective moves being made:

  • Europe: While the 2G network is rumoured to have their sunset around the year 2025, there are mobile network giants like Vodefone who have decided to shut the 3G network service around the end of the year 2022.

Be on the lookout for other companies such as A1, O2, Telenor and T-Mobile as well for their tentative dates for the sunset of 2G and 3G network services. The dates might be tentative but the closure is scheduled for the same years as mentioned earlier.

  • Africa: Being a developing nation, Africa still has a lot of work to do in terms of accommodating the LTE network service in different parts of the country. 

But nonetheless, as per the data the African mobile service companies- Telkom and Vodacom are set for the closure by December 2022.

  • North and South America: The mobile service provider corporation AT&T had announced the closure of 2G and 3G services by March 2022. 

The users have been notified prior to the sunset so that they can make the necessary adjustments.

  • Asia: In Asian countries like- South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Macau the 2G network services have already faced their sunset. It is safe to say that Asia is currently leading in terms of taking these diplomatic decisions.

Several Asian network service providers are also set to shut the 3G network services by the year 2022-2024.

Are 3G Networks Shutting Down?

Yes. Sooner or later you will be surely notified by your service provider that your 3G service will be experiencing a closure. If your device does not support any other network type such as 4G VolTE or 5G it might be time to replace your device.

You can check out the list of prominent service providers we have mentioned earlier in this article and the tentative dates they will be shutting down the 3G network service.

Except for the service providers of Japan, all the other countries might experience a sunset of 3G networks by the year 2022 by their major network brands.

This step has been taken globally to focus on working towards making the LTE and the 5G network service more accessible to the people.

Will My Phone Work After The 3G Shutdown?

Yes. Conventionally if your phone supports data connectivity with the 4G or 5G network then it should not be a problem for you. Other older gadgets and devices which are completely reliant on the 3G network will definitely stop working.

On average, since most of the global population has shifted to LTE/ 4G/ 5G services, technically it should not be a big global issue. Also, the service providers have issued prior notice for the sunset of 3G.


The year 2022 certainly marks the sunset for 3G network connection in different countries of the world. With that being said your devices are safe as long as they are not completely reliant on the 3G network.

Also, currently the 4G network bandwidth is cheaper and more accessible but since the world is moving forward to the next generation with 5G it might be soon enough that even the 4G network will experience closure in the near future.