3G network shutdown

By the end of June 2024, ALDImobile's 3G network services will be discontinued. This page provides essential information about the upcoming changes.

Why is this happening?

The Telstra Wholesale Mobile Network is phasing out 3G services, meaning you'll need a 4G device with VoLTE (HD Calling) capability to stay connected. This change will enhance 4G and enable capacity, speed, and reliability expansion for 5G. This transition is designed to deliver improved connectivity and access to faster, low-latency communication across Australia.

What devices are affected?

3G-only devices, 4G non-VoLTE devices, and 3G-only Internet of Things (IOT) or Machine-to-Machine (M2M) devices such as smart meters and sensors, powered by ALDImobile SIMs, will lose all or part of their connectivity after the end of June 2024.

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3G Only

Devices operating solely on 3G will lose network connectivity and won't be able to make calls or use data.

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4G non-VoLTE

4G devices without VoLTE capability (Voice over LTE) continue to access data but can no longer make calls.

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IOT or M2M

Check for 3G-only Internet of Things and Machine to Machine devices, as they will stop sending data.

How do I know if my device is affected?

ALDImobile will begin emailing account-holders whose usage indicates affected devices have been recently used on the account, in early 2024. If you received an email it is likely device(s) on your account are not compatible. To verify whether a device is affected, you will need to; 1. identify the device, 2. note the device's network capability for 4G & VoLTE, and 3. check compatibility to see if it will be impacted.


If my device is affected, what do I need to do?

If you're using an ALDImobile SIM in a device that will be impacted by the 3G network shutdown, it's essential to switch to a 4G device for continued service (VoLTE-compatible if voice calls are a requirement). We recommend upgrading at your earliest convenience. While we'll continue to reach out as we get closer to the shutdown, early action is advisable

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We recommend replacing affected devices now, well ahead of the closure date

Where can I get a compatible device?

Outright devices are commonly available from many types of retailers, both online and in store. Just be sure to check that the replacement is unlocked, supports 4G for data and VoLTE for calls, and also is compatible with ALDImobile's network bands and frequencies.

3G shutdown FAQs

Answers to common questions relating to 3G network closure can be found below;

The Telstra Wholesale Mobile Network, utilised by ALDImobile, is phasing out its 3G services by the end of June 2024.

This step is being taken to reallocate resources to the more advanced 4G and 5G networks, which provide faster and more efficient services. The shutdown of 3G is part of an industry-wide transition by all network providers across Australia and globally towards newer, more efficient technologies.

To ensure uninterrupted service, you must be using a 4G ready device by 30 June 2024. To continue to make calls you'll need a 4G device with VoLTE (HD Calling) capability.

When upgrading, be sure to check its specifications on the manufacturer's website to confirm compatibility with our 4G network, and also the 5G network if you intend to take advantage of a 5G-enabled plan.

If your device is 3G-only, or does not support VoLTE and is used for calling, it will need to be upgraded to continue using our network after 30 June, 2024

This includes mobile phones, connected tablets or laptops, security cameras, monitoring devices, medical alarms, and other connected devices that use a SIM card.

To determine if your specific device is affected, we recommend searching for its specifications online to check that it supports VoLTE for calls and is compatible with the Telstra Wholesale network's 4G bands: 700MHz (B28), 900MHz (B8), 1800MHz (B3), 2100MHz (B1), and 2600MHz (B7).

If you have received a notification from us stating "your service may be being used with a device not fully compatible with the 4G VoLTE and 5G networks", it is likely that you will need to upgrade to a compatible device by 30 June 2024 to continue using our services.

Please note that the notification will be sent to the account-holder, and the affected device could be any, some, or all of the devices connected to an account.

If you have multiple services it is important to check the specifications on each device to ensure that they support 4G for data and VoLTE for calls, and are compatible with the 4G and/or 5G bands that ALDImobile operates upon.

To fully operate post-shutdown, devices need more than just 4G. VoLTE (HD calling) is also necessary to continue making and receiving calls after 3G services are switched off.

If you have received a communication from us regarding the closure of 3G, it is likely that there is a device on your account that will be impacted by the network transition.

To avoid any impact from the 3G closure, active devices will need to have 4G or 5G for data capability and VoLTE (otherwise known as HD calling or 4G voice) to continue making voice calls.

To find out whether a mobile device is 3G, 4G Non-VoLTE, 4G VoLTE or 5G, you can read our FAQ.

What is VoLTE?

 

VoLTE enables compatible handsets to make voice calls via the 4G network. VoLTE was out along-side WiFi Calling and has been available to all services since December 2022.

What is VoLTE?

  • VoLTE (Voice over LTE) allows you to make voice calls via the 4G network. 
  • Prior to VoLTE, voice calls could only take place on the 3G network.

What are the benefits?

VoLTE is the next step in voice calling technology, so there are many benefits, including:

  • Clearer calls with reduced background noise
  • Faster call connections
  • Reduced dependency on the 3G network for making and receiving calls

    How do I start using VoLTE?

    To begin using VoLTE you will need a device which is compatible with the network and is VoLTE capable.

    To check if your handset is compatible, there are a few things you can do:

    1. Visit your handset manufacturer's website and check the network specs for your specific handset.

    2. Ensure your handsets software is up to date and update if necessary.

    3. Check your handset's mobile network settings. Different manufacturers put mobile network settings in different places, so visit your handset manufacturer's website for specific details on how you can enable VoLTE from handset, provided that it is compatible.

    How am I charged if I use VoLTE?

    • VoLTE calls are included as part of the call inclusions for Mobile Plan customers, and are charged at the standard call rate for PAYG customers.
    • VoLTE calls will not consume any of your mobile data.

    Can I still call 000 on VoLTE?

    Yes, calls to 000 will function as normal.

    4G non-VoLTE devices use 4G for data, offering fast internet speeds, but cannot make calls over the 4G network because they lack VoLTE (Voice over LTE) support.

    Here's a break down:

    • 4G Data: These devices provide quick internet access through 4G networks, ideal for browsing, streaming, and downloading.
    • No 4G calls: Without VoLTE, they can't make voice calls over the 4G network, missing out on the improved call quality VoLTE offers.
    • Relies on 3G for calls: To make or receive calls, these devices switch to older 3G networks, which are slower and being phased out.
    • Impact of 3G shutdown: As 3G is phased out, users with 4G non-VoLTE devices will still be able to use their device for data, but won't be able to make voice calls.

    In summary, 4G non-VoLTE devices have fast 4G internet capabilities, but do not have modern voice call technology, and won't be suitable to use as a phone after 3G is switched off.

    In most cases VoLTE will start working once it is enabled at the network-level, for the tower that you are connected to. However, depending on the device, some users may need to make settings changes, update their firmware, or power cycle their device to enable VoLTE.

    It is important to note that while most VoLTE-capable devices are compatible with the VoLTE service provided by ALDImobile, there may be some devices that are not compatible. Be sure to check manufacturer specifications online to see full compatibility of specific models.

    To prepare for the 3G network shutdown, your device will need to support 4G or 5G, and VoLTE (Voice over LTE/HD calling/4G voice) for uninterrupted data and voice services.

    Note that some 4G devices lack VoLTE, limiting voice calls over 4G networks and are known as 4G non-VoLTE. Also, most 5G phones support 4G VoLTE, due to backward compatibility.

    To determine whether your current device is 3G, 4G non-VoLTE, 4G VoLTE or 5G you can check;

    1. Manufacturer information:
      • Contact your mobile device manufacturer for information about the network capabilities of your device.
    2. Device specifications:
      • Search for your phone model online to find its specifications on the manufacturer's website or on trusted tech review sites.
      • Look for terms like "3G", "4G LTE", "VoLTE" or "5G" in the network specifications.
      • If you see "5G", "VoLTE" or a similar indication, your phone is likely using Voice over LTE.
    3. Device settings:
      • For Android: Go to 'Settings' > 'About phone' > 'Network' or 'Status'.
      • For iOS: Go to 'Settings' > 'General' > 'About'.
    4. Network indicators:
      • Check the network indicator on your phone’s status bar for icons like "3G", "4G" or "LTE".
      • If you see "5G", "VoLTE" or a similar indication, your phone is likely using Voice over LTE.
    5. Test VoLTE features:
      • Make a call and see if you can use data services with 4G or 5G during the call to determine if your phone supports VoLTE.
      • If you can use 4G or 5G data while on a call, your device is likely to be using VoLTE, as non-VoLTE phones switch to 3G and cannot sustain high-speed data while on a call.

    Remember, you'll need a 4G VoLTE or 5G device to continue using both voice and data once 3G network services are switched off.

    ALDImobile is a part of something bigger and utilises the Telstra Wholesale Mobile Network to reach more than 98.8% of the Australian population with 3G*, 4G or 5G and covers more than 1.6 million square kilometres of the Australian landmass. The service provides 4G coverage reaching at least 98.7% of the Australian population and at least 75% with 5G.

    To fully leverage the capabilities of the Telstra Wholesale network, it's important to have a device that supports the bands in use within the intended usage area:

    3G* Network (UMTS/HSPA+)

    • 850MHz (Band 5): The Telstra Wholesale 3G network operates on this band.
      Please note that the 3G network will be shut down on 30 June, 2024.

    4G Network (LTE)

    • 700MHz (Band 28): For wide-area coverage and better in-building penetration.
    • 850MHz (Band 5): Coverage in this band will be enhanced from July 1, 2024, after the 3G shutdown.
    • 1800MHz (Band 3): This is a commonly used frequency for 4G networks.
    • 2100MHz (Band 1): Another commonly used frequency for 4G networks.
    • 2600MHz (Band 7): This band is employed for high-speed data, particularly in urban areas.

    5G Network (RN)

    • 850MHz (Band n5): Utilised by many existing 5G services.
    • 3500MHz (Band n78): A key band for newer 5G services, offering high-speed data and capacity.
    • 26GHz (Band n258): A high-frequency mmWave band for speed and capacity in urban areas.

    Note that not all frequencies and bands are active in every location. To determine which bands are active in a specific area, you can visit the Radio Frequency National Site Archive (RFNSA) and look up the supported frequencies at towers in your areas of interest.

    *Please keep in mind that Telstra's 3G Network will cease operation in mid-2024. After this date, you will need a 4G device with VoLTE calling capability to stay connected to our network. Additionally, speed caps apply to all of our plans to ensure fair usage for all customers.

    If you have any further questions about our network, please see our coverage map.

    To confirm that the device you wish to upgrade to is 4G ready, we suggest checking its specifications online.

    It should have VoLTE to make calls and as a minimum support the Telstra Wholesale network's 4G bands: 700MHz (B28), 900MHz (B8), 1800MHz (B3), 2100MHz (B1), and 2600MHz (B7).

    You can find such information on the manufacturer's website, or by consulting the retailer during the purchase process.

    To find out what device you have, follow these steps:

    1. Check the device itself: Look for the model name printed on the back or front, or displayed during start-up.
    2. Device settings:
      • For Android: Go to 'Settings' > 'About Phone' or 'About Device' for device name, model number, and manufacturer.
      • For iOS: Go to 'Settings' > 'General' > 'About' for model name and number.
    3. Use the IMEI number: Dial *#06# for the IMEI and use an online IMEI checker to lookup your device details.
    4. Original packaging: Check the phone’s original packaging for model and manufacturer information.
    5. Device documentation: Refer to the user manual or documentation for model details.
    6. Check with the retailer: Contact the retailer (or check their receipts or order confirmations) for device information, based on purchase history.

    These methods can help in identifying your mobile device. If uncertain, search online with any known features or specifications to see if you can find a match.

    An IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a unique 15-digit number that identifies individual mobile devices. It acts like a serial number for your phone and is used to verify and distinguish devices.

    How to find your IMEI number:

    1. Dial a Code: Dial *#06# on your phone.
      The IMEI number should automatically appear on the screen.
    2. Device settings:
      • For Android: Go to 'Settings' > 'About Phone' > 'Status' > 'IMEI Information'.
      • For iOS: Go to 'Settings' > 'General' > 'About', and scroll down to find the IMEI.
    3. Physical check: The IMEI is often printed on the back of the device, under the battery compartment, or on the SIM tray.
    4. Device packaging: The IMEI number is usually also printed on the phone's original packaging box.

    Existing ALDImobile SIM cards are compatible with 4G and 5G mobile devices.

    However, it is important to check the size of the SIM card required for your new device. Our SIM cards are “3 in 1” which means they have a standard SIM, a micro SIM and a nano SIM all in the one card. You simply add or remove the insert frame to match the size that fits your device. 

    If your new device requires a different SIM card size than your current one, you may need to add or remove inserts. Newer devices typically require smaller SIMs so it is most likely that you will need to remove rather than add an insert to fit a newer device.

    Important information

    We use the Telstra Wholesale Mobile Network, with a coverage area that reaches more than 98.8% of the Australian population with 3G*, 4G or 5G and covers more than 1.6m square kilometres of the Australian landmass. The service provides 4G coverage reaching at least 98.7% of the Australian population and at least 75% with 5G. *3G network services will cease mid-2024.

    Speeds may vary due to factors such as location, device capabilities, distance from the base station, local conditions, concurrent users, hardware and software configuration and download/upload destination. Also note that speed caps apply.

    To access 5G, you’ll need a 5G compatible device, a 5G capable plan, and be in the Telstra Wholesale 5G coverage area. 5G is only available in selected areas and with selected plans. View the 5G coverage map to see where 5G is available and when it will be coming to your area.