UK Starts to Switch Off 2G & 3G | Descartes Routing UK

UK starts to switch off 2G and 3G mobile network signals

3g and 2g switch off


An agreement was made in 2021, between the UK Government and mobile network operators that 2G and 3G mobile networks would be phased out and switched off by 2025 for 3G and 2033 for 2G. However, network operators can choose when they switch off and bring to an end their 2G and 3G services.  

Turning off these older services is required to make way on the airwaves for more advanced 4G and 5G networks. 4G was introduced in 2012 and 5G in 2019, but both are yet to reach full coverage across the UK. 

Both Vodafone and EE have now switched off all their 3G network transmitters,  3 is expected to have switched off its 3G transmitters by the end of 2024 and O2 will not start to remove their 3G service until 2025. 


How will the loss of 3G signals affect vehicle telematics? 

While most people won’t be worried about this, as their mobile phones already use 4G and even 5G, some businesses that have older vehicle tracking and telematics devices which rely on the older 2G network do need to upgrade their vehicle devices to a solution that uses 4G. 

O2 and 3 in the UK have also confirmed the phasing out of their older 2G network by 2033 and EE by 2030 this will therefore affect older vehicle tracking devices that rely on these networks. 

To maintain fleet visibility and safety, companies need to upgrade to newer telematics devices offering enriched services that utilise the 4G and 5G networks. 

Descartes’ Telematics devices rely on the 4G network for their information-rich data-packet transfers and will therefore continue to be usable for the foreseeable future. 

Click here to discover more about Descartes’ Telematics solution 


Contact us if you wish to discuss upgrading your vehicle telematics