Leading mobile network operator Three UK has announced plans to switch off its 3G mobile network services by the end of 2024.

Having launched in 2003, Three UK was the UK’s first 3G-only operator and will join fellow MNOs Vodafone and EE in setting the end of 2024 as the date it will no longer have 3G availability. The shutdown will mean that some customers will have to upgrade their devices before 2024 in order to transition smoothly to 4G and 5G services as Three has no 2G network to fall back to after its 3G network goes dark.

Vodafone and EE will continue to offer 2G services in addition to 4G and 5G operations as 2G connectivity is still widely used by low-powered Internet of Things (IoT) devices and can act as a fallback option for voice-only communication.

According to Three, 5G usage is now more popular than 3G in the UK and the MNO estimates that by the end of the year 5G will account for 35% of all of its mobile network usage.

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