London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Vodafone 3G turn-off sparks internet access fears

Vodafone 3G turn-off sparks internet access fears

Campaigners have warned that Vodafone turning off its 3G network will lead to people with older and more basic phones falling into "digital poverty."

Vodafone will be the first UK telecoms firm to stop providing 3G when it begins a nationwide phase-out in June.

This will free up radio frequencies for faster 4G and 5G services, it says.

Vodafone says it is working to support vulnerable customers, but campaign group Digital Poverty Alliance has criticised the switch-off.

Vodafone UK's chief network officer, Andrea Dona, said 3G use had "dropped significantly" - with less than than 4% of its customers' data being used on its 3G network, compared with more than 30% in 2016.

He said that meant it was now "time to say goodbye to 3G and focus on the current benefits and future possibilities of our 4G and 5G networks". 

The company says it is working with third parties, including charities, to help customers.

It has also pointed to the support it is providing for customers, including information on its website about how to check if a phone is capable of accessing 4G. It has worked with a body called We Are Digital to set up the Digital Skills Helpline, which is free to call from all UK mobiles and landlines.

Digital Poverty Alliance, which says its objective is help people access the "life-changing benefits" of digital services, says 14 million British people rarely engage online, with 18% of adults relying on their their phone to access digital services. It said switching off 3G would have "detrimental effects".

"Older and basic devices do not have 4G capabilities, so individuals who can only get online using a basic device will fall into digital poverty," it warned in a statement.

"Switching off 3G will have an adverse effect on the mission to help more people access the digital world," it added.


'You rely on the service'


Vodafone says it is pressing ahead with a nationwide phase-out after successful pilots across Plymouth and Basingstoke.

However, some customers have expressed concern about how it will affect them.

Dan Jones, 36, a self-employed IT consultant who lives in a village near Manchester, told the BBC he only got a 3G signal at his home office.

He said he was informed by Vodafone in October that it was going to shut 3G services and since then 4G and 5G in his area had been "pretty much non-existent".

Mr Jones said he was now contemplating changing providers.

"I'm self-employed, I'm an IT consultant - when your living is made through phone calls and that sort of thing, you rely on the service," he told the BBC.

"It's not like I live out in the sticks."

The UK government and mobile phone operators have said all 2G and 3G services will be shut off by 2033 at the latest, with 3G networks being shut first.

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
Homeless Man Turns in Wallet with 2,000 Euros at Amsterdam Station
Apple Faces EU Charges Over Digital Markets Act Violation
Macron Warns of Civil War Risk as French Elections Approach
Julian Assange Freed After US Plea Deal
Chaotic Portugal Win Over Turkey at Euro 2024
Global Headlines: Hajj Heatwave Tragedy, Flynn's Family Enterprise, and Rising Geopolitical Tensions
Political Shifts in France, Legal Battles in the UK, and Public Protests in Israel
UK's Richest Family Convicted for Exploiting Servants
Hollande Declares End to Macron’s Political Ascendancy
Hindujas Appeal Swiss Court's Human Trafficking Verdict
Prince William Celebrates Birthday at Taylor Swift Concert
Singapore to Implement Screen Time Regulations for Children
Hello and welcome back. Here we are with your latest news update from around the world.
Hello and welcome back. Here are today's top stories from around the world, you don't want to miss:
UK PM Sunak and the Election Betting Scandal
Climate Activists Target Taylor Swift's Private Jet in UK
United States Bans Kaspersky Antivirus
US to Supply Taiwan with Suicide Drones Amid Rising Tensions with China
Bodyguard of UK Prime Minister Arrested for Alleged Election Betting
Global Displacement Crisis: Record Numbers in 2023
Muslim Community Leader Criticizes Nigel Farage for Undermining Muslims
Melinda Gates Discusses 'Horrible' Divorce from Bill Gates
Child Obesity Surge in England: A Deep Concern
U.S. Sues Adobe Over Hard-to-Cancel Subscriptions
Deadly Heat Wave Claims Dozens of Lives During Hajj Pilgrimage in Mecca
Here are today's top worldwide stories you don’t want to miss:.
World’s Largest Pilot Union Calls to Eliminate Terms Like ‘Cockpit’ and ‘Manpower’ for Equity
Woman Suing UK Intel Services Denies China Spy Allegations
Iran Sentences Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi to 1-Year Prison Term for Propaganda
News roundup
Good day, everyone! We've got some gripping stories for you today, spanning from the Middle East to Europe, and even a touch of Hollywood.
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
×