3G Closure Buyer’s Guide

If you need to purchase a new handset due to the 3G networks closures, here is some important information to guide your purchasing decision.

Female farmer with Mobile Phone in a paddock.

Certain mobile phone devices may not allow emergency calling once the 3G networks close down.

Your mobile service provider has a number of options, and can recommend a handset that will suit your needs and remain compatible after the 3G network closures. If you are purchasing from other reputable dealers, please double check the refurbished, slightly older devices available for purchase will work properly once the 3G networks close.

We are warning the public against buying devices from overseas or from retailers that are sourcing handsets that are made for other markets, otherwise known as grey-market devices. These devices may not allow emergency calling once the 3G networks close down. This is because they are not designed to support all the Australian mobile frequency bands, and may not support features like 4G and 5G (VoLTE) emergency calling.  Learn about VoLTE.

AMTA recommends that you purchase from a reputable dealer based in Australia.

You should ask the seller if the device can:

  1. Support all Australian mobile frequency bands, especially the 700 MHz band.
  2. Support 4G and 5G voice calling (VoLTE).
  3. Support 4G and 5G (VoLTE) emergency calling.

Buying a device from a reputable dealer means you can ask these specific questions, and if there is a problem you will have some recourse to exchange or secure a refund if the device fails to meet Australian device standards.

AMTA also recommends  ‘Check My Device’ be used prior to making any device purchase.  You  can ask the seller for the IMEI number of the device you are considering purchasing so you can check compatibility before buying.

If you are in a vulnerable circumstance or experiencing financial hardship, we encourage you to contact your service provider to discuss options. Search for information from your service provider here.

If you’re wondering what to do with your old 3G phone or 4G phone which does not support 4G and 5G (VoLTE) emergency calling, consider recycling it with the official mobile phone recycling program of the telecommunications industry, MobileMuster.