Telstra prepares to wind down early 3G network

Macworld Australia Staff
31 July, 2012
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Telstra is warning customers using its early 3G network that they only have a month to change their settings or upgrade their handsets before the telco winds down its services.

Other than the LG watch phone, it’s been five years since Telstra last offered mobile devices configured for the 3GIS network, an eight-year-old joint venture with Hutchison that has been superseded by the more advanced Telstra Next G Network – so the number of customers affected should be small.

Telstra Networks Executive Director, Mike Wright, said the company would stop providing mobile services on the 3GIS network on August 31, but said affected customers’ devices would “continue to work for voice calls, text messages and 2G web browsing in 2G coverage areas”.

“However,” he added, “customers who use their mobile phone or modem to surf the web will likely experience slow data speeds if they continue to use a device that operates its 3G functions on the 2100MHz band – rather than the 850MHz band.

“That’s because Telstra uses the 850MHz band to provide 3G coverage across its Next G network footprint – rather than the 2100MHz band used by 3GIS. We’re encouraging customers who use their device in Next G coverage areas to upgrade to Next G compatible handsets and mobile broadband devices so they can take advantage of faster data speeds and wider network coverage.”

The move is not unexpected – Telstra first started contacting customers affected by the changes in 2010. The telco says customers who are yet to prepare should:

  • Check that their device is Next G compatible. To continue to access Telstra 3G services across Telstra’s national 3G network footprint, customers need both a Next G compatible device and Next G coverage. Customers can check that their device is 850MHz compatible (the primary frequency on which Next G network runs) by using Telstra’s online device identifier tool:
  • Check their device network settings. Some devices currently used on the 3GIS network are actually Next G compatible. However, either because customers have adjusted their settings or because devices were used previously on other mobile networks, they may be set to access the 2100MHz band only. Customers should switch their network settings from ‘3Telstra’ (3G 2100MHz) to ‘Automatic’ to ensure their device connects with the best available network before and after August 31.

For more information, go to or call 13 2200 (residential post-paid), 125 8880 (pre-paid), 13 2000 (Telstra Business) or 1800 286 980 (Disability Services).

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