Virgin Media O2 to begin 3G switch off in 2025 


All major UK operators have agreed with the government to phase out 2G and 3G by 2033  

Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) has become the final major UK mobile operator to announce 3G shut down schedule, aiming to begin the process in 2025. 

The company says that the switch off is part of its ongoing network transformation, with the move freeing up valuable spectrum therefore allowing for the expansion of its 4G and 5G networks. 

3G services were launched in the UK in 2003, but now carry only a small fraction of the country’s total mobile data traffic. In VMO2’s case, only 4% of all data consumed last year was carried over their 3G network. 

VMO2 added that its 4G services now cover 99% of the population, and they expect their 5G coverage to reach 50% of the population by the end of the year. 

This 3G shutdown schedule puts VMO2 slightly behind its rivals, with EE and Three set to begin shutting down their 3G networks next year, while Vodafone UK aims to have completed the process by June next year. 

“3G was once an exciting new development for telecoms providers that brought new opportunities for customers,” said Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Media O2 in a press release. “But as we continue to evolve our network to provide the best mobile connectivity, it is clear that switching off 3G and focusing our attention and investment on the faster, more reliable and more efficient 4G and 5G services is the right thing to do for our customers, our business and the environment.” 

3G services are likely to be axed before 2G, as 2G remains the only connectivity option in some the most rural parts of the country, as well as used by many Internet of Things services and providing a low power fallback option for more modern networks. 

Here from Virgin Media O2 at this year’s Connected Britain, the UK’s largest digital economy event – book your tickets now! 

Also in the news:
Unleashing a connected future: Navigating the UK’s broadband landscape
German fibre coverage hits 36%
Potential ‘remedies’ for Spain’s Orange–MásMóvil merger draw in Digi 

Recent Posts