Virgin Media O2 to shut off 3G services in 2025

Liberty Global’s UK telecommunications company Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) is to switch off its 3G services in 2025.

The move comes following the UK’s government and industry’s joint statement in  2021 that all UK mobile network operators is to switch off 2G and 3G by 2033 at the latest.

The closure of its 3G services will see the telco focus on further expanding and upgrading its 4G and 5G connectivity,

Virgin Media O2’s programme will shut its 3G services in phases across the country, with 3G connectivity expected to be fully switched off by the end of 2025.

The use of 3G mobile network which launched two decades ago has fallen considerably over recent years, with the rise of 4G and 5G services . According to the cabler, it has carried less than 4% of all data used on VMO2’s network last year.

Jeanie York, CTO at Virgin Media O2, said: “3G was once an exciting new development for telecoms providers that brought new opportunities for customers. But as we continue to evolve our network to provide the best mobile connectivity, it is clear that switching off 3G and focusing our attention and investment on the faster, more reliable and more efficient 4G and 5G services is the right thing to do for our customers, our business and the environment.

“We will begin to switch off 3G in 2025, but between now and then, we will be communicating directly with our customers to explain what this means for them and outline any steps they should take in the next 18 months. While most customers will need to take no action at all, we are committed to supporting everyone with this necessary transition.

“As this switchover takes place, we will continue to invest heavily in maintaining, upgrading and expanding our 4G and 5G networks to ensure we’re providing the fast and reliable mobile connectivity that our customers depend on.”

VMO2 noted the vast majority of its existing customers won’t need to take any action during this switch off period, but customers will be contacted about the changes.

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