Orange Polska has started the process of turning off the 3G network. T-Mobile had previously taken the same steps. Most customers will not feel this fact, but owners of the oldest SIM cards and phones will have to replace them.
The Orange press office told tVN24 that the process of turning off the 3G network in Poland began as announced, i.e. at the end of September. “Preparatory work for this stage took a lot of time – it is a huge undertaking, both technological and logistical, but everything started as announced,” we read in the response sent to us.
T-Mobile has already completed the process: 3G services were terminated in the second quarter of 2023. The service is still active in a small area, but it is only a matter of time: by the end of the year it will be turned off there as well. What about other operators? In March, Plus announced that it had no plans to turn off 3G. P4 Sp. also did not make such a decision. z o. o., owner of the Play network.
Orange turns off the 3G network
In September this year activities were started in the following counties: Piła, Złotów, Wałecki, Wieruszów, Wieluń and Pajęczański, i.e. in the vicinity of Piła and Sieradz.
By the end of October, 3G was turned off in the following areas: Wieruszów, Wieluń, Pajęczański, Złotów and partially Piła and Wałecki. Since the beginning of November, shutdowns have been going on in Sieradz, Zduńska Wola and nearby areas.
Orange plans to phase out 3G across the country by the end of 2025.
What does the network shutdown mean for customers? For most people, nothing will change. For some people, however, it will mean the need to replace the oldest SIM cards and phones.
“First of all, it’s about checking whether they use a SIM card that allows voice calls on the 4G/LTE network. Older type cards can be replaced free of charge in our showrooms,” explained the operator.
3G has become insufficient
3G is a third generation network that has become insufficient over time. Its place has been replaced by newer technologies that enable increased mobile Internet speeds. Although it may seem that turning off 3G is not difficult – there are more modern generations that could immediately “intercept” customers who have been cut off from 3G, Orange argues that nothing could be further from the truth.
“First of all, it is not about abandoning older technology by turning it off. The radio frequencies currently assigned to support the 3G network will be used to increase the total capacity and coverage of the 4G network. After turning off 3G, we can ‘transfer’ the thus freed 5 MHz block from the 900 MHz coverage band to the needs of the 4G/LTE network,” it was explained.