DNA's 3G to be first shut down in Hyvinkää in May – phasing out old technology will free up bandwidths for 4G and 5G
DNA announced the upcoming shutdown of the 3G network for the first time back in 2021. Preparations for the shutdown have been carried out in test and laboratory environments for years, and the measures have been tested at individual base stations before the start of a more extensive shutdown. After the shutdown of the 3G network in Hyvinkää, the phasing out of the network will proceed region by region.
"In practice, the shutdown of the network will proceed in stages, one region at a time. More information on the progress after Hyvinkää will be announced later. On a general level, however, it can be said that once the shutdown project begins, we can no longer guarantee the extensive functionality of the 3G network anywhere in the country, although in some places the 3G network may be kept on for some time for network service optimisation reasons,” says Jarkko Laari, VP, Radio Networks at DNA.
The shutdown will apply to all services that use solely the 3G network. Discontinued services will mainly be replaced by 4G and 5G solutions. Very old devices that are not compatible with 4G or 5G technology typically switch to using the 2G network. If the device supports VoLTE, or Voice over LTE, calls will continue to be made over the 4G network. If the phone does not support VoLTE, calls will be transferred to the 2G network after the 3G network has been shut down. All of DNA's 4G and 5G phone plans support VoLTE calls.
When travelling abroad, it is worth noting that 3G networks are being shut down all over the world. In some countries, 2G networks are also shut down or being phased out. In the United States, for example, many carriers only use 4G and 5G networks. If you are planning on travelling to the United States, your phone must support VoLTE roaming in order to make calls.
The shutdown of the 3G network of the Finnish Shared Network (SYV), which is owned jointly by DNA and Telia, will begin in Eastern and Northern Finland in the beginning of 2024.
DNA's 3G network in Hyvinkää serves only about 100 subscriptions
Use of the 3G network has decreased significantly in recent years, accounting for only just under 1% of mobile data used by DNA’s customers at the end of 2022. Most people’s daily lives will not be affected when the 3G network shuts down in Hyvinkää during May.
"In February, only about a hundred subscriptions in Hyvinkää used 3G data. The figure includes both consumer and business subscriptions. Even in these cases, the customer may have accidentally locked the phone to 3G mode, so if you still regularly see the 3G symbol on the screen of your modern phone in Hyvinkää, you should check the phone's settings," Laari says.
The 3G network to be shut down in Hyvinkää is identical in coverage to 4G, so mobile data services will not be weakened by the shutdown – the opposite in fact. The shutdown of 3G will free up bandwidths that can later be taken over by more modern network technologies. At the same time, the structure of the network is simplified as the 3G layer is removed and resources are freed up for the development of more efficient technologies. For customers, this will be reflected in an even better user experience of 4G and 5G networks.
Better customer experience, lower electricity consumption
The 3G network has served telecommunications for almost 20 years. The decision to shut down the network is based on providing a better customer experience by modernising the technology used. 4G and 5G networks offer significantly more capacity, greater reliability and faster speeds for the ever-growing demand in mobile networks. Newer network technology and base stations are also significantly more energy-efficient than 3G in relation to the amount of data transferred. DNA's 4G network already covers nearly 100% of the population of Finland, and the coverage of the 5G network was over 80% of the population at the start of 2023.
"Now is a good time to make sure that your own device supports 4G or 5G technology. Almost all mobile devices that are not compatible with 4G are old models, typically at least 5–10 years old," Laari says.
If you are unsure about whether a device is compatible with 3G or 4G, look for the 4G icon on the device, the user manual or home screen. If you see one, you can almost certainly assume that the device is compatible with 4G. The information can also be found by typing the device model in a search engine. Detailed instructions for checking the model number can be found on DNA's support page on the shutdown of the 3G network (in Finnish). If the device is a 4G or 5G model but the Internet connection does not work after the 3G network is turned off, it is worth checking the phone settings to make sure that the device is not locked in 3G mode. If the device is a phone, also make sure that VoLTE technology is turned on in the settings.
Old devices that are not compatible with 4G or 5G technology typically switch to using 2G once the 3G network is shut down. This will likely mean a significant slowdown in data transfer speed. However, the slowdown is not necessarily noticeable in devices that transfer very little data, such as trail cameras.
Jarkko Laari, VP, Radio Networks, DNA Plc, tel. +358 (0)44 044 4949, email@example.com
DNA Corporate Communications, tel. +358 44 044 8000, firstname.lastname@example.org
DNA's support page on 3G shutdown (in Finnish): https://www.dna.fi/3g
About DNA Oyj
DNA is one of the leading telecommunications companies in Finland. Our purpose is to connect you to what matters most. We offer connections, services and devices for homes and workplaces, contributing to the digitalisation of society. Already for years, DNA customers have been among the world leaders in mobile data usage. DNA has about 3.6 million subscriptions in its fixed and mobile communications networks. The company has been awarded numerous times as an excellent employer and family-friendly workplace. In 2022, our total revenue was EUR 997 million and we employ about 1,700 people around Finland. DNA is a part of Telenor Group, a leading telecommunications company across the Nordics. More information: www.dna.fi, Twitter @DNA_fi, Facebook @DNA.fi and LinkedIn @DNA-Oyj.
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