It was in 2001 when the third generation of networks came into our lives (well, in Spain we had to wait a little longer). It was a real revolution for the smartphones of that time, since they were the option that offered the greatest capacity to transport data.
With the arrival of 4G in 2010 and the advance of 5G, which according to forecasts will be fully implemented in 2025, 3G has become the most inefficient system. According to data from Vodafone, its blackout could save 52GWh per year. And not only that, with its disappearance frequencies would be released for 4G, 5G, two more modern and efficient technologies.
However, this blackout will mean that several mobile phone models become obsolete.
How will the 3G blackout affect?
With the 3G blackout some mobile phones will stop working. The big losers will be the older models. In practice, this means that they will not be able to make or receive phone calls (even emergency ones), send or receive text messages, use applications or visit websites.
They will only be able to run their applications and do most of these tasks if they are within Wi-Fi range and make calls through a service like Skype. In other words, the device can continue to be used, but without the concept of “mobile”.
When will the 3G blackout occur?
Spanish operators assure that the 3G blackout is very close. Movistar will coincide the end of the 3G network with the complete withdrawal of the copper network, which will have been replaced one hundred percent by fiber in 2025 .
Vodafone expects the blackout to occur before 2024 and, in fact, has already carried out tests in several municipalities in Spain to ensure that there is 4G in all the places where there is 3G right now.
Orange, for its part, has announced that 3G will be turned off in Spain in 2025. It has also talked about 2G, which will extend it until 2030.
The other operators have not yet commented on the matter.
How to know if my mobile will be obsolete?
There are certain mobiles that will stop working normally the moment the 3G blackout occurs. They will be those 3G or 4G devices that are incompatible with VoLTE (technology that offers the possibility of making voice calls through the 4G mobile network), that is, models with several years behind them.
To know if your mobile will continue to be valid after the 3G blackout, the first thing you should do is look at the top of the screen. If 4G or 5G does not appear there, it is most likely that it is not compatible with these networks.
You can also check it directly in the configuration of your mobile. To do this, go to Settings or Configuration and follow the path CONNECTIONS> MORE NETWORKS> MOBILE NETWORKS> NETWORK MODE , and there you will be able to see what type of network your device uses.
But considering that users replace their mobile devices every three years or less on average, it is unlikely that by 2025 there will still be 3G devices.