Help and support

Our 3G network is closing down

You may have seen in the news that mobile providers in the UK will be closing down their 3G networks in the next few years. Our 3G network will be closing in early 2023 so that we can focus on improving our 4G network and rolling out 5G.

If you currently rely on 3G to stay connected, we’ll be in touch over the coming months to help you switch to our 4G network. You have plenty of time to make the switch and we’ll be there to help with whatever you need.

Switching to our 4G network means you’ll benefit from an improved mobile service, with considerably faster internet speeds and better call quality.

What should I do now?

We’ll be in touch over the next few months to let you know what you should do next. Keep an eye out for the email, letter or call that you’ll receive from UW.

We recommend making the switch to 4G as early as possible, so you can start enjoying the many benefits right away. You’ll need to make sure you have a 4G compatible phone, 4G SIM and an eligible plan to use our 4G network.

How can I make the switch to 4G?

We’ll be sending you information on how you can make the switch to 4G. But if you’d prefer to get a head start, check out the information below.

Check that you have a 4G compatible phone. 

The best way to do this is by checking on your phone manufacturer’s website. If you don’t have a 4G compatible phone, you’ll need an upgrade. Get in touch with our team and we’ll be able to help with your upgrade.

Check that you have a 4G SIM. 

If you don’t have a 4G compatible SIM, you’ll need an upgrade. Simply log into your account and next to the mobile number that needs a SIM upgrade, click 'More options' and then 'Order replacement SIM'.

On the next page, select 'Upgrading a 3G SIM’ as the reason for ordering a replacement SIM. We'll send the 4G SIM out to you right away.

Check that you have an eligible plan. 

All of our plans are eligible except Value Pay. If you’re on this plan, you’ll need to upgrade. Get in touch with our team and we’ll be able to help.

Can I make the switch to 5G instead?

We don’t currently offer 5G but will roll it out at a later date. If you need to upgrade your phone to switch to our 4G network and would like to use 5G in the future, we recommend getting a 5G compatible phone.

Why is the 3G network shutting down?

Now that 4G and 5G networks are available in the UK, the 3G network is no longer needed. You can get much faster internet speeds and better call quality on our 4G network, and we want to make sure all our customers have the best mobile experience possible.

You may have heard that all mobile providers in the UK will be shutting down their 3G networks in coming years. This is in line with the UK government’s ambition to fully close 2G and 3G networks by 2033. 

We don’t currently have plans to switch off our 2G network but will be working towards the 2033 deadline.

What is better about the 4G network?

Our 4G network is much better than our 3G network. It offers more coverage across the UK, better call quality and faster internet speeds at no additional cost.

What will happen if I don’t upgrade to 4G?

If you don’t switch to 4G by the time we switch off our network, your 3G phone will use our 2G network instead. This is even slower than our 3G network. Don’t worry though – we’ll be in touch before that date to help you make the switch.

When will you be in touch?

We’ll be in touch with everyone who needs to make the switch by the end of the year. It’s really important that you follow the instructions we give you in the email or letter you receive, and try to do it as soon as possible.

What are you doing for vulnerable customers?

We’ll be contacting all vulnerable customers as usual with email or letter, and then also calling them before we switch off the 3G network to make sure they have additional support.

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