What’s changing, and when?

Macquarie Telecom mobile services are powered by Optus. In September 2024, the existing 3G technology will be turned off and its spectrum repurposed to boost the capacity, reliability, and speed of the 4G network and growing 5G network.

How will my phone service be impacted?

The impact on your service will depend on the type of handset or data device you’re using.

  • Older devices which only connect to 3G networks will no longer be able to connect to any cellular towers. That means it won’t be possible to make or receive calls, send or receive messages, use data or connect to the internet, or make Triple Zero (000) calls on the Optus network. If you’re using a device which only connects to 3G, you’ll need to replace it before September 2024.
  • Devices which use 3G and 4G networks will only be able to access 4G cellular towers. Any areas previously served only by 3G will no longer have coverage for calls, text messages, data or Triple Zero (000) calls on the Optus network.
  • Devices which use 3G, 4G and 5G networks will only be able to access 4G and 5G* cellular towers. Any areas served only by 3G will no longer have coverage for calls, text messages, data or Triple Zero (000) calls on the Optus network.

Are emergency calls to Triple Zero (000) affected?

If your device requires 3G for emergency calls, and doesn’t use 4G or 5G, you won’t be able to make Triple Zero calls from that device. If your device uses 4G (with VoLTE) or 4G and 5G, you will still have access to Triple Zero.

What happens next?

We’ll be contacting all our customers that may be using a 3G-only device to let them know they need to upgrade their hardware.

Non-standard mobile devices such as security devices, medical alert technology, lifts, EFTPOS machines, telemetry devices, and fleet tracking units often rely solely on the 3G network. If you use a non-standard mobile device, it’s important to check with your device’s manufacturer for further support.

What should I look for?

  • 1

    If your device depends on the 3G 900MHz spectrum for voice and/or data service, you will need to upgrade.

  • 2

    When upgrading to a new device, choose one that is compatible with the 4G 700 MHz (B28) spectrum.

  • 3

    If you use your device for making and receiving voice calls, it’s necessary for your device to support 4G VoLTE. We recommend enabling VoLTE in your device settings prior to September 2024 so you can continue to make voice calls. If your 4G device doesn’t support 4G VoLTE, you’ll need to update to a new device.

  • 4

    The 700MHz is a low-band 4G spectrum used by Australian carriers for best 4G coverage. If you obtained hardware from overseas or outside an official device reseller, it might not be compatible with the 4G 700MHz spectrum. In this case, your device may not allow voice calling.

We’re here to lend a hand.

If you need help understanding the impacts of this change, or figuring out how your specific device will be impacted, give the Macquarie Telecom Hub a call on 1800 789 999, or chat to your account team.

* 5G is continuing to roll out nationwide, and is only accessible on 5G compatible plans.