A Step Towards Improved Customer Experience and Network Evolution
In a significant move towards network transformation, Virgin Media O2 has announced that it will begin phasing out 3G services from 2025. This decision is part of a broader industry trend, following a joint statement by the UK Government and mobile network operators in December 2021, which stated that all 2G and 3G services would be switched off by 2033 at the latest.
The 3G network, which was launched two decades ago, has seen a significant decrease in usage over recent years. In fact, less than 4% of all data used on Virgin Media O2’s network last year was carried by the 3G network. The switch-off will allow the mobile spectrum to be reallocated to more efficient 4G and 5G services, enhancing customer experience with faster data speeds, more reliable streaming, and higher-quality voice call services.
What Does It Mean For Users?
The majority of existing customers won’t need to take any action during this switch-off period. However, Virgin Media O2 is committed to providing additional support to those who may need it, such as those who still use older devices. The company will be contacting customers well in advance to ensure they are aware of these changes and will clearly outline the steps they need to take and their options. Support pages and trained agents will be available to help customers navigate this change.
In addition to improving customer experience, the switch-off programme will also contribute to Virgin Media O2’s ambitious sustainability goals. 4G and 5G networks are significantly more energy-efficient compared to the older 3G equipment. While the 3G network carries less than 4% of all data used on Virgin Media O2’s network, it accounts for 11% of the company’s total energy consumption. The move to switch off 3G will contribute to Virgin Media O2’s wider plans to reach net-zero by 2040.
Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer 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.”
As the date of the switch-off approaches, Virgin Media O2 will work with its customers to ensure they stay connected. The company’s 4G coverage already covers 99% of the population and by the end of 2023, 5G services will be available to more than half of the UK population.
This move by Virgin Media O2 is a clear indication of the future of telecommunications.
As we at Communications Plus continue to provide quality, trustworthy, and convenient business mobiles, VoIP phone systems, and broadband services, we are committed to keeping our customers informed about these industry changes and how they may impact their connectivity needs.
Want to know whether the 3G switch off will affect your business mobiles? Get in touch today for more information.