Vodafone's latest announcement to shut down its third generation of connective/network technology could potentially significantly impact individuals still using older and basic phone models, which may result in them being left behind in the digital age - a concern now coined as "digital poverty."
Vodafone is set to become the first major telecommunications company to shut down its 3G network, with pilot testing of the switch-off planned for Basingstoke and Plymouth in June. The telecom giant plans to phase it out throughout the rest of 2023, starting with Hull, Oxford, and Greater Manchester before eventually rolling out across South England.
Once these places successfully transitioned away from this network version, Vodafone has explained, "the rest of the UK will follow later in the year."
According to Vodafone UK's Head Network Officer, Andrea Dona, the usage of 3G technology has significantly decreased over the years. In 2016, more than 30% of customers used 3G, but now only 6% continue to use it. Vodafone's decision to phase out 3G is expected to set a precedent for other providers to follow suit and focus solely on the benefits of 4G and 5G networks.
What does that mean for you?
As Vodafone moves to phase out 3G, customers with older phone models may be restricted from accessing the faster speeds of 4G and 5G networks. To help alleviate this issue, Vodafone has partnered with We Are Digital to set up a digital skills helpline. Customers can call in and check if their phone is compatible with 4G technology and make the necessary upgrades before the 3G shutdown occurs.
The UK government has set a deadline of 2023, leading Vodafone to be the first to take action. This move is expected to be followed by other telecom providers, such as EE and Three, who plan to end 3G in early 2024. Currently, O2 has yet to announce its specific dates for the switch-off.
How can we help?
At Silver Lining Convergence, we can ensure your business is fully prepared for the upcoming switch by ensuring all your devices are compatible with the new network. Trust us to help you stay ahead of the game and keep your business running smoothly during this transition period. To find out more, please click the link below to our 4g and 5g solutions or Call us on 0345 313 1111 or email us at email@example.com