Small Businesses at Risk as Telstra 3G Network Nears End

Telstra 3G

The impending 3G network shutdown poses a significant challenge for small businesses across Australia, necessitating immediate attention to upgrade technologies and services reliant on this aging network.

As major telecommunications providers have shutdown and are preparing to phase out 3G services, the repercussions for businesses using outdated equipment are substantial, underscoring the urgency for adaptation and transition to newer technologies.

The 3G Network Sunset

Australia’s leading telcos, including Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone, announced plans to decommission their 3G networks, with complete shutdowns expected by mid-2024.

Optus (TPG Telecom) and Vodafone have already completed their 3G shutdowns, with Telstra now the last provider to keep 3G on.

Telstra will shutdown on 31 August 2024.

This move aligns with global trends, as operators redirect resources towards enhancing 4G and 5G networks.

The evolution towards these advanced networks promises superior speed, reliability, and connectivity, essential for modern business operations and consumer services.

Implications for Small Businesses

For many small businesses, especially those in regional and rural areas, the shutdown of 3G networks could disrupt daily operations.

Telstra have a huge market share in regional, and no doubt 3G devices would still be in use in many regions.

Critical devices such as payment terminals, security systems, and other IoT devices still dependent on 3G connectivity will cease to function unless upgraded.

The potential for operational interruptions and associated financial impacts necessitates proactive measures to ensure continuity and competitiveness.

Transition Strategies For The 3G Shutdown & Devices That Could Be Impacted

To avoid any issues with the Telstra 3G network shutdown, you should start by taking a good look at all your current tech.

Figure out which devices still rely on 3G and then explore your options for upgrading them. Some devices to be cautious of which may rely on 3G are:

  • Basic Feature Phones – Older mobile phones that do not support 4G or newer networks.
  • Early Smartphones – Older models of smartphones that only support up to 3G connectivity.
  • Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) – Devices used by elderly or disabled individuals to call for help.
  • Vehicle Telematics Systems – Used for tracking and managing vehicle fleets.
  • GPS Navigation Systems – Older GPS devices that use 3G for traffic updates and real-time information.
  • EFTPOS Terminals – Point of Sale (POS) devices used for processing card payments.
  • ATMs – Some ATMs use 3G for transaction processing and network connectivity.
  • Mobile Payment Devices – Portable card readers and payment devices.
  • Security Alarm Systems – Home and business security systems that use 3G for monitoring and alerts.
  • Building Access Control Systems – Systems that manage and control access to buildings.

These were just some of the devices we could think of, off the top of our heads! There are plenty more devices that could be impacted by the 3G network shutdown.

This is also a great opportunity to think about the future.

Instead of just replacing old 3G devices, consider investing in technology that will make your business more efficient and improve your customers’ experience.

Embracing these upgrades can set you up for success with faster speeds, better data insights, and the ability to adapt quickly to new opportunities.


The 3G shutdown is a clear signal for small businesses to upgrade their technology.

This shift isn’t just about avoiding disruptions; it’s a chance to modernize and become more competitive. That said, if you ignore the warnings, the inconvenience could be huge.

Telstra have put together a terrific resource hub, and have been very helpful with the impeding shutdown.

If you’re a Telstra customer, you can SMS 3 to 3498 to find out if you’re device is impacted. Best wishes to those who need to make the switch!


  • Michel Elijah

    Tech expert and strong interest in telco. I've worked in the tech industry for 4 years and have always had interest with mobile and internet providers.

    View all posts
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