When to expect 3G Network Sunsets (Shutdowns) and Why?

3G Network Sunsets
A cell tower carrying antennas

Radio frequencies can be thought of as Real Estate in the world of mobile communications. Like Real Estate there is only so many radio frequencies available. This finite resource can, therefore be either very expensive to buy new licenses or impossible because there are no licenses available for “new” frequencies (aka Bands). 

As Mobile Network Operators (MNO’s) introduce new technology, or generations of data transmission methods, the MNO’s have to find a band they license to utilize for that new technology like 5G. Data transmission technology is always evolving, and since there are finite resources there is a need to “re-farm” the bands on which they hold licenses to operate these newer technologies. This is the fundamental reason why old technology like 3G are being shutdown (or “sunsetted”).

In the next few years, we expect there will be many MNO’s  sunsetting 3G. Here is a list of some MNO’s and the probable date of their 3G sunset:

Country Network Probable 3G Sunset
Australia Telstra Corporation Limited June 2024
Canada Rogers Communications Canada Inc. 2025
China China Mobile 2020
Denmark Telia 2023
Denmark TT-Netværket P/S starts April 2021
Finland TeliaSonera Finland Oyj 2023
Germany Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. oHG 2022
Germany Vodafone D2 GmbH June 2021
Greece Vodafone Greece 2022
India Airtel 2020
Indonesia PT Indonesian Satellite Corporation Tbk (INDOSAT) 2020
Indonesia Telkomsel Indonesia 2020
Iraq Telecom Ltd 2020
Italy Vodafone Italia S.p.A. January 2021
Japan NTT DoCoMo, Inc. March 2026
Lithuania Telia Lietuva 2022
Malaysia DiGi Telecommunications 2021
Malaysia Maxis Communications Berhad 2021
Myanmar Telenor Myanmar 2025 – 2027
Netherlands KPN Mobile The Netherlands B.V. January 2022
Netherlands Vodafone Libertel B.V. 2020
Norway TeliaSonera Norge AS 2020
San Marino Vodafone Italia S.p.A. 2021
Saudi Arabia Saudi Telecom Company 2022
Spain Telefónica Móviles España 2025
Sweden TeliaSonera Sverige AB 2025
Taiwan Taiwan Mobile Co. Ltd 2019
United States AT&T February 2022
United States T-Mobile April 2022
United States Verizon Wireless Announced 2020 – Pushed
Vatican City Vodafone Italia S.p.A. 2021

If you are operating IoT devices on these networks, you will need to address the situation and upgrade your devices before the network closes.

We have helped many clients with this transition and we would be happy to have a conversation with you to explore your options. For example, if you are operating a fleet tracking solution on 3G telematics devices in the USA and you need to move to 4G we currently provide service on all 3 major US networks (AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon) on a single SIM card with a single APN. Of course, we offer many other countries on that same single SIM and single APN.

Contact one of our experts by email at sales@onesimcard.com to see if you qualify for free SIM cards as you transition.

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