2G and 3G to be phased out by 2033

The government and UK mobile network operators (MNOs) have together announced they have established all public 2G and 3G networks in the UK will have been switched off by 2033.

The government said sunsetting these networks will free up spectrum for 5G and beyond, as well as opening the door to new UK mobile network vendors to improve to nationwide security and resilience.

Following a Diversification Taskforce recommendation, UK mobile network operators have confirmed to the government that they do not intend to offer 2G and 3G mobile networks past 2033. Some individual operators may switch off their networks, particularly their 3G networks, earlier than this date, and will announce their own plans about when and how they intend to do this.

In addition, the government and MNOs have announced a joint ambition for 35 per cent of the UK’s mobile network traffic to be carried over open and interoperable Radio Access Network (RAN) architectures by 2030.