September 15, 2022 - Telenet/BASE announces that it will switch off the 3G signal on its mobile network in two years’ time, as of September 2024. The vast majority of mobile devices are currently already running on the more recent 4G or 5G technology for calling, mobile surfing and texting. After the switch-off, the 3G frequencies will be used to make this 4G and 5G network even faster and more reliable.
Using older technologies more efficiently
3G was launched in Belgium in 2004. It was the successor of 2G, and, for the first time, allowed consumers to use the Internet at higher network speeds outside the home. This has improved further in recent years: with the introduction of 4G and the current roll-out of 5G, the mobile network is continuously becoming faster and more efficient. The devices are also being adapted to these latest technologies: most of the smartphones, tablets or other devices on the Telenet/BASE network are suitable for using the 4G, or even the 5G signal. The number of devices that only work on 3G has fallen sharply in recent years, and currently represents only 1% of the network.
As technologies and devices become ever more sophisticated, consumers are using more and more applications that require a lot of bandwidth, not only via Wi-Fi, but also on the road. As a result, mobile data usage is increasing by 30% every year. By freeing up the network capacity of the older 3G signal and using it for 4G and 5G, Telenet can offer its customers more capacity, stability and higher speeds. For the same reasons, operators around the world are gradually phasing out this older technology, or have already done so.
A phased shutdown
Calling and using the Internet via 3G will still be possible up to September 2024. From then on, Telenet/BASE will phase out this technology. Older phones or tablets that can't handle 4G will use the 2G signal to make connections. This technology will still be supported for a while, until at least 2027.
Telenet and BASE will inform their customers in ample time about the switch-off of the 3G signal. Customers will receive a personal communication and, in the course of 2023, they will be able to find practical information on the web page, www.base.be/switchoff3G including a check on whether their device is already calling and surfing via 4G.