back to article BT to phase out 3G in UK by 2023 for EE, Plusnet, BT Mobile subscribers

BT is going to wind down 3G connectivity by 2023 as it looks to increase its 4G and 5G coverage across most of the UK by 2028. The lack of 3G shouldn't be too much of a pain because by that point, most people will have a 4G or 5G-capable handheld. The telecommunications giant said less than two per cent of data traffic over …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shame, but inevitable

    I generally find 3G more reliable and just as fast as 4G in pretty much all locations. I've assumed that is because the great unwashed masses of downloaders all use 4G leaving 3G pretty much clear for me to use.

    I do think I have detected some lowering of service in the past 12-18 months, so wasn't sure whether EE was already cutting back on 3G, or whether it was all down to WFH and that virus thing.

    1. ARGO

      Re: Shame, but inevitable

      The UK operators have been refarming 3G spectrum to 4G, so where you used to get 10 MHz bandwidth (assuming a DC cat 24 handset) you probably only get 5 now.

      1. HildyJ Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Shame, but inevitable

        Still, why does it sound like they're shutting down the old system before the new system is ready?

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Shame, but inevitable

          Where do you get the idea the new system isn't ready? If there are any holes left in coverage where you have only 3G and not LTE/5G, those will go away when the 3G spectrum is repurposed.

          The only possible reason you would care about 3G going away is if you are still using a phone old enough that it can't do LTE.

          1. dvd

            Re: Shame, but inevitable

            Or your laptop's built in modem only does 3g...

            1. DS999 Silver badge

              Re: Shame, but inevitable

              I didn't know anyone used cellular in a laptop anymore, isn't everyone tethering with their phone now?

              If that's not an option for you I guess you'll need to buy a USB attached LTE modem. You can't expect to use obsolete equipment forever....

              1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                Re: Shame, but inevitable

                Why not? If it still works, what's the problem?

                1. Roland6 Silver badge

                  Re: Shame, but inevitable

                  Depends on your use case.

                  But I basically avoid having multiple per device SIMs as they work out more expensive than one SIM with a decent tethering/shared data allowance.

    2. dmitri

      Re: Shame, but inevitable

      Interesting. I find the opposite. On the rare occasions it drops down to 3g I get either 0kb or modem speeds so slow nothing works so I think they are already reallocating bandwidth. If they start to do this I think they should start to think of switching the 3g mast off is data is unavailable to avoid 4g users accessing this band and getting no Internet (or ensure a low speed of maybe 1 to 2mbs is kept for use when on 3g).

  2. Mishak Silver badge

    Hmm...

    We still don't really get anyG here. Can sometimes get 3G, less often 4G. Not expecting to get 5G any time soon...

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Hmm...

      I get 1 bar of 4G that disappears when I try to do anything. Instead, I have a little box that gives me 3G at full signal and routes over broadband.

      Guess which service the phone connects to if I forget to turn off 4G.

      1. John Sager

        Re: Hmm...

        Apparently Vodafone's Sure Signal is due to be turned off soon. Guess who's phone hasn't got WiFi calling on Voda :(

    2. jonfr

      Re: Hmm...

      Both 4G and 5G can use lower spectrum than 2G and 3G. The limitation is the following.

      4G (band by frequency in Europe).

      450Mhz/700Mhz/800Mhz/900Mhz/1500Mhz/1800Mhz/2100Mhz/2300Mhz/2600Mhz

      5G (band by frequency in Europe as of 2021).

      700Mhz/800Mhz*/900Mhz/1800Mhz/2100Mhz/2600Mhz/3500Mhz/3700Mhz/26.50Ghz - 29.50Ghz*

      *Not supported by every 5G phone on the market as of 2021 in Europe.

      3G (band frequencies in Europe)

      900Mhz/2100Mhz

      2G (band frequencies in Europe)

      900Mhz/1800Mhz

      Lower spectrum use allows for better coverage but at lower speed. This is the same for 4G and 5G.

      There are more frequencies that can be used but have not seen any use in 4G or 5G as of 2021 or allocation by regulators* and those frequencies are not supported by mobile phones either. Most phones support more frequencies then are used in any market for reasons of travel between Europe, North-America (ITU region 2) and ITU region 3 (Asia, Australia and more).

      *The reason for this is that spectrum is being used by something else. Military, government, private communication by companies and so on. Fixed links communication and more.

      Sources

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LTE_frequency_bands

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5G_NR_frequency_bands

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    BT expect to cover another 4500 square miles with 4G in the next four years, sounds a lot but that is an area of 67X67 so about 15 towers.

    Put that into 5G terms though and it translates to over 50 times as many transmitters, 5 G won't be getting into a lot of rural areas any time soon.

    I know that is simplified but so is BT's BS.

  4. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    The problem with turning off 2G & 3G isn't the consumer phones but all the industrial/bespoke kit that's out there.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Like the so-called "smart" meters?

      1. Kientha

        We did the sensible thing for Gen 2 meters in the north of England and Scotland... It's just the rest of Britain that for some reason has a network based on 2/3G...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "We did the sensible thing"

          And what was that?

          1. Kientha

            Use long range radio/WAN technology instead of mobile infrastructure and mesh networks

          2. Kane Silver badge
            Flame

            "And what was that?"

            Never let the bloody thing into my house in the first instance!

        2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: sensible thing

          Covered the "smart" meter with a Faraday cage? Refused to allow them in your home at all?

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: sensible thing

            Given that my (non-smart) water meter is in what looks like a pretty good Faraday cage I'm still puzzled about how they can read it from a range of several metres. Apart from being underground it's enclosed in a steel tube on top of which, at ground level, there's a hinged cast iron cover. Could the gap between cover lid and frame act as a slot aerial.

      2. aidanstevens

        I think (but I'm happy to be corrected) that smart meters run on the Vodafone network.

        1. Kientha

          Gen 1 smart meters run on 2G with whoever the energy provider decided to contract with. In the north of England and in Scotland, Gen 2 smart meters use a separate long range radio wave network built and maintained by Arqiva. In the rest of England and in Wales, Gen 2 smart meters use the Telefonica (O2) 2/3G network

    2. Kientha

      That's more of a problem for 2G than 3G which is why 3G is getting decommissioned before 2G! Telecoms looked at the mess that happened in the US when they decommissioned 2G and decided to put it out into the long grass.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        The US didn't have many 2G fixed devices

        Phasing 2G out wasn't issue, as non-phone 2G devices never really caught on in the US to the extent they did in Europe. It is the phaseout of 3G that is proving more difficult due to fire/burglar alarms, IoT type devices like river level monitoring, and so forth. That phaseout has been postponed several times by the big telcos from 2019 with dates now set for 2022. At least the pandemic gave them a good excuse I suppose, as I doubt it made all that much difference for a couple guys driving around and working on towers.

        Luckily the powers that be learned their lesson and LTE and 5G are able to coexist in the same spectrum. The reason telcos want to drop older standards is mostly about efficiently using spectrum. When the older standard can coexist with the newer one no spectrum is wasted so no reason to force people to upgrade their fire alarms or whatever.

  5. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Provided...

    "The lack of 3G shouldn't be too much of a pain because by that point, most people will have a 4G or 5G-capable handheld"

    I know several people with arthritis who can't use a "gesture controlled" smart phone, so we'd better hope some vendors will provide 4G "feature phones". Otherwise, pseudo-Darwinian unnatural selection will "phase out" the elderly. Not forgetting of course that the currently young and agile will themselves one day become "elderly". Unless of course we adopt the principle of Logan's Run City.

    1. IamAProton

      Re: Provided...

      I don't have arthritis but I did not jump on the 'smartphone' bandwagon.

      There are few 4G phones out there. I tried the Nokia 8110 4G and I would not recommend it to my worst enemy. The 4G part was working fine, but the keyboard was barely usable and the software clunky A.F.

      Sold it because I couldn't stand it anymore and no more firmware updated in sight after they fixed some of

      the major issues.

      Hopefully we'll get more phones (instead of pocket-computers) when 2g/3g will be shut down.

      Will be interesting to see if phones and 'smart'phones sold in EU will lose the 2G/3G capabilities in the future, because in some countries that's all you have when you get out of the urban areas, unprepared tourists might be surprised.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Provided...

        The 8110 is a Kai OS phone. Nokia has three or four, all with identical internals but different form-factors. I tried the tough phone and found the keyboard unusable, constantly mis-typing so I sent it back for a refund.

        However, there is a CAT-branded phone, the B35, which is near identical to the tough Nokia and the one I received actually works. Having a bit of trouble setting up email - possibly due to a self-signed certificate my end - but otherwise very pleased with it - though only had it a month so far.

        List of Kai OS phones at the Kaiostech website linked above.

        M.

    2. ARGO

      Re: Provided...

      There are a decent range already. You won't find many in operator stores, but they frequently appear in the Sunday supplements. Doro seem to be the market leader in the UK.

      1. nichomach

        Re: Provided...

        Mum just got a Doro phone and it's more hassle and less user-friendly than just about any smartphone I've encountered (got involved when she couldn't send texts). I would inflict one on my worst enemy, but I might feel a twinge of guilt about it afterwards.

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Provided...

          Yes but lots of people still prefer the way Nokia feature phones worked, so actually Doro is pretty near it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BT said it’ll also retire 2G by the end of this decade,

    But what about my Kindle Keyboard with its worldwide, free, Edge connection?!?!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But what about my Kindle Keyboard with its worldwide, free, Edge connection?!?!

      well, it remains free. And, if you live in the land of the free, you can join a class action and your grand, grand, grand... offspring might get a few cents' compensation.

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: BT said it’ll also retire 2G by the end of this decade,

      That's a shame - I will finally have to stop using my lovely old, power-sipping Nokias. I'm already teary-eyed at the thought that I will only need to get the charger out twice more.

  7. Alan J. Wylie

    Rural coverage is still very poor

    The Yorkshire Dales have seen a huge increase in visitors since lockdown. Many areas (and not just the tops, but roads down valleys) have no coverage at all.

    Visit The Ofcom map and look at the area around Hubberholme (BD23 5JE). Even "Outdoor", "No 4G" there are huge areas of white.

    Indoors some towns have areas with no coverage at all. Even text messages don't get through, making the new two factor authentication for online purchases a pain, Settle for instance (BD24 9DJ).

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Rural coverage is still very poor

      Got 4G BB here with a large aerial stuck high up on the wall. In the house NADA - well unless I dig out the Nokia of course.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Rural coverage is still very poor

      Just used that and it says I can get 4G(nope) inside the house but not outside!

      Perhaps there's a spot in the very top of the attic,

    3. AW-S
      Joke

      Re: Rural coverage is still very poor

      Maybe they will just fly some drones over the national parks during visiting hours?

    4. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Rural coverage is still very poor

      It's not just rural coverage that's a problem. Walk away from windows in some buildings and wave goodbye to a signal.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Rural coverage is still very poor

        These sorts of issues have nothing to do with 3G vs LTE, but with the frequency being used as lower frequencies penetrate buildings better. When they drop 3G the spectrum will be repurposed - I would guess as 5G DSS which shares spectrum with LTE so works for both but could be LTE only.

    5. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: Rural coverage is still very poor

      Haven't seen the Ofcom map before, have an upvote!

    6. Joe 37

      Re: Rural coverage is still very poor

      Try AB36 8YP. If 3G goes then I get no signal at all (On 3). O2 nominally offers "4G" but at bitrates that make 3's 3G look better. EE and Voda offer 4G but only at bitrates bettered by a 1993 modem..

      1. ARGO

        Re: Rural coverage is still very poor

        The spectrum currently used for 3G doesn't go away though - it just changes from 3G to 4G. Coverage of that spectrum stays the same.

        It's even possible coverage will improve, but for a different reason; the networks are under OFCOM pressure to hit 90% geographic coverage. A site they are already visiting for a 3G-4G switch is a prime candidate to have 700/800 added at the same time. And that spectrum goes much further.

        (You still need a VoLTE handset to use it though)

    7. Refugee from Windows

      Re: Rural coverage is still very poor

      Keeps us in business here, and of course provides a supply of lost walkers because they can't find their way using on line mapping.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wind down 3G connectivity by 2023

    so, from 2023 I will not be able to get 3G/4G reception, same as I'm not able to get 3G/4G experience now? I wonder... given that I live within 'Greater London', will I get even more of the 'no 3G/4G reception' in areas with even more or less of the 3G/4G reception'?

  9. adam 40 Silver badge

    2G until 2030!!! :-)

    Yay! 2G beats 3G! I told you so....

  10. HenryCrun

    If 3G goes lots of Amazon Kindles become useless

    A lot of the earlier Kindles are 3G enabled. Oh goody more landfill full of working equipment.

    1. Lon24 Silver badge

      Re: If 3G goes lots of Amazon Kindles become useless

      And old ThinkPads!

      3G worked fine under Win10 but not Linux until a recent kernel update. So I was thinking that 2025 wasn't a problem - let alone 2023. But then I'm on the 'Three' network and they may have an eponomatic problem phasing out 3G ;-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If 3G goes lots of Amazon Kindles become useless

      Pretty sure they’re not on EE.

    3. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: If 3G goes lots of Amazon Kindles become useless

      Kindle 2 can use 2G outside the US, and everything since the Kindle 3 has wifi. The DX is the only version sold outside the US that would suffer from losing 3G, and hardly anyone actually bought one of those. I'm also reasonably sure every version can connect to a PC via USB, so lacking wireless will never make them useless. Lacking connectivity also doesn't delete all the books currently on them, indeed, given Amazon's previous behaviour, it's the only way to keep them safe.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If 3G goes lots of Amazon Kindles become useless

      There are no Kindles that are 3G only. They're either WiFi only or WiFi and 3G.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get on the treadmill!

    One day, we'll ask ourselves why we have to spend £300 on a new smartphone every year (which will then break on day 366), in order to be able to do anything at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get on the treadmill!

      I've never had that happen. The phones get handed down to the kids when we refresh ours.

      The iphone 6S my youngest now has is 7 years old. We'll only retire it when it goes out of support for security updates.

  12. aidanstevens
    Stop

    Getting shot of 3G I can just about understand, but getting shot of 2G with its comprehensive network, superior coverage and compatibility with every handset seems to be a bad idea, and seems to me to be the industry putting all their eggs in one basket.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've wondered if there's an opportunity to run a 2G-only network, once the current operators lose interest. It could be called something snappy, like "a mobile network for people who just want to call people".

      1. Dave559 Silver badge

        2G network

        To annoy EE, and to allow the law of nominative determinism to apply, such a network could perhaps be called "GG"? :-D

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: 2G network

          Alternatively annoy PlusNet: Good honest mobile from Yorkshire.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What would it connect to when the PSTN closes in 2025? A network that could only be used to talk to other people on the same network is not a compelling offer.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          The Public Digital Telephone Network (PDTN).

          Remember BT are moving all customers off the analogue PSTN onto a digital network.

          What doesn't seem to be clear is just what this actually means, given currently, BT gets a regular flow of monies from all those fixed-line phones...

    2. hoola Silver badge

      It is the same as trying to kill FM radio so they can sell the bandwidth,

      It works pretty much everywhere.

      Does not drop out and constantly and be unusable in cars when driving

      Sounds better.

      In battery operated devices, lasts for weeks or months.

      1. Martin-R

        Driving around the Highlands on winter climbing trips, I've come to the conclusion that a lot of the time, the best way to listen to FM radio was to stream it on 4G...

  13. MJI Silver badge

    But what about old phones which still work?

    Old Nokias for a start, no more N8 no more old indestructable emergency phone.

    At least I get a good phone connection at home courtesy of a little box in the wall it is plugged into.

  14. mark l 2 Silver badge

    "The telecommunications giant said less than two per cent of data traffic over its EE network used 3G in March"

    Considering the millions of subscribers EE has, 2% is still quite a lot of customers who are still using 3G then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I also note they said 2% of traffic. High volume users will all have 4G or 5G. If you translate that 2% traffic into number of customers, I suspect it will be close to 10%.

      1. ChrisC Silver badge

        Indeed. And if by "customers" you also include all the automated systems that require a phone line connection, then those that *do* make use of the cellular data channel may well only be transferring a few MB per month, which might as well be a rounding error in comparison to even a "light" user with a basic smartphone. And then there's all the systems that still operate purely over the voice channel, exchanging data via ContactID, P100 and other tone-based protocols...

  15. The_H

    All because I've got a 5G phone...

    ... doesn't mean I can get a 5G, 4G or even (gasp) 3G signal.

    Here in the barren wastelands of East Yorkshire the very fastest signal I can get - if I'm lucky - is 3G. At home, just a couple of miles from Hull, I get 1 bar of 4G. Most of the time it's just GPRS or EDGE. I can get a better signal in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, 30 miles from the nearest street light. (I know, because I've done it).

  16. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    A classic

    Drag the project forever in hope it will get eventually scrapped and hop onto the next one.

    I still don't get reception in many places in London, the capital of the world.

  17. big_D Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Same in Germany

    It is the same over here, 3G is being turned off this year...

    Only problem is, I get a 1 bar Edge signal at work. :-S

  18. hoola Silver badge

    Old Phones

    My mother still uses an ancient Motorola v3.

    It is indestructible, has a battery that has been replaced, makes phone calls and has nice large buttons.

    It does everything she needs it to do, make and receive the occasional phone call, anything else, PAH!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not that simple - some 4G/5G devices and/or SIMs currently use 3G and 2G for voice!

    Unlike 2G and 3G, "standard" voice call are not part of 4G and 5G - they are intended to be performed over a IP/data connection. In 4G it is know as VoLTE (Voice over LTE, as LTE is the official term for 4G). I'm not sure if there's a specific term for the same thing in 5G networks but basically it works the same as VoLTE.

    When 4G was launched in the UK all of the 4 main OpCos (EE, 3, O2, Vodafone) only supported VoLTE in their networks for contract customers (aka PostPaid) but not for PrePaid SIMs. Also the various OpCos only supported certain makes/models of handsets for VoLTE use.

    On a 4G or 5G phone if you search through the menus you should find an option to enable/disable VoLTE (and possibly a seperate option to disable receiving calls via VoLTE as to do so requires your phone to keep an active data connection in place which affects battery life).

    3 ("Three") only enabled VoLTE for their PrePaid customers in the past month or so. I belive EE is the only one of the 4 main OpCos not to have enabled VoLTE for PrePaid SIMs yet. I'm not sure how many of the various resellers (i.e. Voxi, Tesco, etc) of the Big 4 OpCos support VoLTE currently, either for their PostPaid or PrePaid customers.

    If you have a handset/SIM combination where VoLTE is not enabled then whenever you receive or make phone calls they happen via either a 3G or 2G network.

    Even once all the UK networks enable VoLTE for all their customers' SIMs if your 4G/5G device is not supported for VoLTE use by your provider's network for some reason then you will not be able to make or receive phone calls at all!

    1. Dave Pickles

      Re: Not that simple - some 4G/5G devices and/or SIMs currently use 3G and 2G for voice!

      Samsung phones use a proprietary VoLTE driver, so if LineageOS or another alternative ROM is installed they have to fall-back to 3G or 2G.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not that simple - some 4G/5G devices and/or SIMs currently use 3G and 2G for voice!

      >3 ("Three") only enabled VoLTE for their PrePaid customers in the past month or so.

      Nope, Three have supported VoLTE for any handset that had the right settings ever since they launched it in 2015. Subscription type never came into it.

      I was part of the team that tested it prior to launch. The priority was to get as many customers using it as possible because it gave a big improvement in network coverage: the LTE800 band goes a lot further than 3G2100.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not that simple - some 4G/5G devices and/or SIMs currently use 3G and 2G for voice!

        > "Nope, Three have supported VoLTE for any handset that had the right settings ever since they launched it in 2015. Subscription type never came into it."

        My mistake, I have 3 and EE sims here and was getting them mixed up. So its EE that have only started supporting/enabling VoLTE on their PrePaid SIMs in the past month:

        https://newsroom.ee.co.uk/ee-launches-unique-pay-monthly-stay-connected-data-and-new-nhs-heroes-offer-as-well-as-4g-and-wifi-calling-on-pay-as-you-go/

        Note their reference to "a compatible handset", you'd expect that all 4G handsets would work.

        My underlying point still stands that some people with 4G or 5G handsets/SIMs could presently be using only 3G and 2G for voice calls and potentially when those 2G and 3G networks are turned off they could lose voice service (i.e. the example a previous poster gave of a Samsung device running LineageOS or similar).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not that simple - some 4G/5G devices and/or SIMs currently use 3G and 2G for voice!

          >you'd expect that all 4G handsets would work.

          But then I'd be out of a job ;-)

          Unfortunately there are a lot of settings that need to match in the network and the handset for VoLTE to work. Originally only operator custom software had those, and only for the network they were designed for - take that handset to another network and you're back to 3G/2G voice.

          The GSMA spotted the problem and built a settings database; since 2019 most handsets will automatically install the right config for the SIM they are given. Of course there were a lot of handsets sold between 2015 and 2019, and many of them are still in use....

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Not that simple - some 4G/5G devices and/or SIMs currently use 3G and 2G for voice!

          >Note their reference to "a compatible handset", you'd expect that all 4G handsets would work.

          I wonder if it has been extended, previously it was only handsets with EE branded firmware. Thus my Huawei P30 purchased from an approved EE reseller supports VoLTE out-of-the-box (on EE), whereas one that was originally locked to another network doesn't support VoLTE.

          Mind you had slightly different problem with a bunch of alcatel 3T8 tablets donated by EE to a charity last April: according to Alcatel tech specifications they support VoLTE, however the EE variant doesn't...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not that simple - some 4G/5G devices and/or SIMs currently use 3G and 2G for voice!

        "that had the right settings" is doing some heavy lifting... until much more recently, other than fruit-based handsets it was a handful of mostly not brilliant ones, and only when bought directly from Three

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not that simple - some 4G/5G devices and/or SIMs currently use 3G and 2G for voice!

          Yup, Apples have always worked regardless of source.

          All the Samsung S and Note series since S5 have VoLTE when bought from 3, and since S7 (2016) it works regardless of where you bought the handset. You may regard these as "not brilliant", but the sales figures disagree ;-)

          Similar phasing applied to Huawei, who (at the time) held 3rd place in UK sales.

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Not that simple - some 4G/5G devices and/or SIMs currently use 3G and 2G for voice!

      So those older non VoLTE capable devices will use 2G for voice when 3G goes away. It won't be something you can tell the difference about as a subscriber.

    4. jonfr

      Re: Not that simple - some 4G/5G devices and/or SIMs currently use 3G and 2G for voice!

      That is called 5GVoice (Vo5G/VoNR) and that standard is not yet ready for use. That means all 5G networks are going to be data only for a while. Currently there is also no support for 5GVoice in any mobile phones on the market that I know of (it might be built in but not enabled).

      VoLTE and Vo5G are both build on IPv6 network connections.

      Source

      https://www.nokia.com/networks/solutions/voice-over-5g-vo5g-core/

      https://www.ericsson.com/en/5g-voice

      1. dmitri

        Re: Not that simple - some 4G/5G devices and/or SIMs currently use 3G and 2G for voice!

        Just for info I'm on bt mobile sim, only 5g and when I get 5g coverage volte is working fine

  20. Lorribot

    Driving around darkest North Essex I am lucky ot get a phone signal let alone a G for data. I guess they didn't include no G in the calculations.

    If you are on 3 you shouldn;t bother turning your phone on. O2 is pretty poor non-existant outside of towns, Vodafone is patchy and EE is better than most but still lots of not spots.

  21. David_Woodhead

    23G? 79G?

    2G - 3G - 4G - 5G ...

    For that vast majority of the population:

    - How would I know?

    - Why should I care?

    - Do I now have to buy yet another phone and throw this one in the bin?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not well thought out

    Mrs Anon tells me Voice over LTE voice quality on EE/BT is awful with anything less than 3 bars, and for most, do their handsets support it at all?

    No LTE coverage in my house, so what about the 3G signal assist? It's the only way I can make/receive calls on my handset inside the house or garden.

    Turn off 3G and Signal Assist and I'll need either 1) a new VoWiFi handset 2) a VoIP App or 3) plug the land line back in... (facepalm)

    Hope EE/BT keep the Signal Assists running on a slimmed down virtual / cloud 3G core.

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