EE, a mobile provider here in the UK has given a timeline for when it is going to turn off its older 3G network. During the summer. the network successfully trialed turning off the 3G network in Warrington, Cheshire and this resulted in no complaints about coverage or performance and also no capacity issues on the existing 2G and 4G networks.
EE will now push ahead and will start deactivating its 3G network in January 2024 and will be completed by March 2024. This will likely result in equipment being decommissioned, turned off and ultimately frequency planned to be reallocated. The spectrum that will be reclaimed by turning 3G off will be reused elsewhere to improve the capacity for 4G and 5G networks.
EE has said that just 0.6% of all UK data that was downloaded came from 3G and it accounts for just 7% of all voice traffic. 3G to date, accounts for 35% of the power consumption for EE.
EE will keep the 2G network running, as this is used for fallback services in low power situations, such as Smart Meters and other devices. These for now, will be kept running.