Life & Technology – 2GB 22nd June 2024

Here Is What To Do If You Receive An Alert That Your Phone Wont Work After the 3G Shut Down

Vodafone has shut 3G (I have not noticed any loss of service here), Telstra shut at the end of August and Optus shut at the end of September. All three networks and their resellers are currently sending selected customers messages (via sms or email) that their device will not work when calling on 4G or calling Triple Zero on 4G. 

I have looked into the issue, and here is what is happening – 

Over the last 18 months all the telcos have been collecting and analyzing customer phone call data. This has told the telcos what devices (personal user information – just device usage) are making calls on their network using 3g vs 4g, and also for calling Triple Zero. This data has been shared between the different telcos and government agencies to build a picture of what devices will ‘work’ after the 3G shutdown. 

This data has been combined with device testing results that is regularly carried out by telcos when determining if a phone is going to be sold by the Telco (such on a plan or through a telco store). This testing has tested for the ability to call on 4G.  

This combined data set is wide and accurate, but it does not cover ALL devices. If there is no testing evidence or usage evidence that a phone will call on 4G or call Triple Zero on 4g, then the telco or reseller will send an alert saying the phone ‘wont work’ on 4g for calling. I asked whether it was possible some phones that WILL work, have received an alert that they WONT work. The answer was YES. 

It was discussed whether the wording of the message should say ‘May Not Work’, but ultimately the decision was made to direct the customer to get a new phone. 

So, what can you do if you receive this ‘Your Device Wont Work’ message – 

  1. turn off your 3g network access in settings. Once off make a phone call. If you can make a phone call on 4G now, you will be able to make a phone call on 4G once the 3G network is off.
  2. Not you know your phone can make calls on 4G, its likely Triple Zero emergency calls will also work – BUT If you are concerned about calling Triple Zero, DO NOT CALL TRIPLE ZERO, instead get in touch with your manufacturer and ask for clarification.

As I said today on the show, I would like to thank the phone companies, in particular Telstra and Optus for spending the time with me this week to assist taking me through the above so i can pass on my suggestions to you, if you are affected. 

We have written more up about the 3G Shut Down here.

Guests and Topics on the Show
Lots of questions continue to come in from listeners on the benefits of getting Internet Security software on your devices, verse the inbuilt protection from services like Windows Security.  One of the benefits is being able to access user support.

We conducted an interview with Norton last week, during which they highlighted the 24/7 support service they provide to their existing customers.

This round-the-clock assistance ensures that users have access to technical help and customer support at any time, day or night. 

Dean Williams, Senior Systems Engineer from Norton talked about this 24/7 support. 

We also invited Mitchell Whitaker, Director from Harvey Norman Newcastle who shared some ongoing Harvey Norman EOFY deals. 

Here’s a copy of our newsletter.