Vodafone New Zealand has announced that by 31 August 2024 it will have rolled out 4G or 5G to everywhere currently served by 3G, and it will then begin to switch off its legacy 3G network.
The two-year notice period ensures that customers have time to transition to using faster, more reliable services before the legacy 3G network is switched off. This will deliver an improved 4G and 5G experience for its customers, by enabling Vodafone to repurpose its existing 3G spectrum. With more and more customers taking advantage of its newer network technologies, 3G data use represents less than 5% of total network data traffic, a number which is rapidly declining year on year.
Vodafone NZ Set to Switch Off 3G by late 2024
Tony Baird, Wholesale & Infrastructure Director said, “Whilst our 3G network has served us well since 2005, 4G and 5G are the future, helping Kiwis work, play and connect across New Zealand.”
“We are hyper focused on continuing to build out New Zealand’s best mobile network*, and to do that it’s important we retire our legacy network infrastructure. We will only do this once 4G or 5G is available to our customers, and they should think of this as a switchover, rather than a switch off as the majority of customers have 4G and 5G capable devices. We have seen telcos across the world retire their 3G networks, including Vodafone in the UK and Europe, and we’re able to incorporate learnings from them to benefit our customers as we take the lead in this closer to home.”
Baird continued, “At Vodafone we’re helping customers unlock the magic of technology, and to do that, they need fast, reliable connectivity. Customers who have access to our 5G love it, which is better for them, and better for Aotearoa, as it is 10 times more energy efficient than 3G.”
“While we’re excited for the future, it’s really important to us to make sure none of our customers are left behind. We’ll be carefully communicating with them over the next two years, to make sure that they understand the technology change coming, and what, if anything, they need to do to stay connected.”
Vodafone continues to roll out its 4G and 5G networks, with over 400 upgrades and 165 new sites providing more 4G and 5G across New Zealand in 2021. The pace continues in 2022 bringing 4G or 5G to sites from Kaeo in Northland to Gore & Invercargill in Southland, and many places in-between, including 27 sites in Hamilton alone – with heaps more to come.