Things to know about our 3G shutdown

What is happening?

We recently announced that 2degrees will be shutting down our 3G service towards the end of 2025. 3G technology was first introduced in 2009 and has been a reliable technology but has been surpassed by customer demand for 4G and 5G services, enabling faster media-rich data activities like video streaming.

Why is 2degrees doing this?

2degrees stopped selling 3G only phones in mid-2022 and we’ve had less and less demand from customers using these older phones on our network. Mobile operators around the world in some countries, such as the USA and Australia, are either starting to or have already shutdown their 3G networks to free up space for improvements to 4G and 5G networks. If travelling overseas this means that without a VoLTE capable phone, you won't be able to use voice services while roaming.

How will I find out about it?

Over the remainder of this year and next year, 2degrees will contact all impacted customers on our network directly to give them plenty of notice this is happening and allow them time to either upgrade their phones or devices or turn on VoLTE if this is what is required.

What is VoLTE?

VoLTE stands for Voice over Long Term Evolution or LTE which is another name for 4G. VoLTE allows customers to make high-definition (HD) calls from a mobile using our 4G network. Simply put, when a customer makes a voice call over VoLTE, they connect quicker and enjoy a clearer connection with reduced background noise. More information is available on VoLTE here.

How will I know if I have a compatible phone after the 3G shutdown?

You can check if you have a VoLTE enabled device here.

Another way to tell is to check the top of your phone (next to the phone’s signal bar indicator). If you only ever see a 3G then it is likely you have a 3G device or that your device settings are locked to 3G. If you see VoLTE displayed on the top of your phone (next to the phone’s signal bar indicator), then your device is VoLTE capable and enabled, and you have a VoLTE compatible device.

What date will 2degrees shutdown the 3G network?

2degrees will close its 3G service in late 2025.

What do I need to do to change my settings?

If you have a VoLTE capable 4G or 5G device, check it’s not locked to 3G. In phone settings check Mobile Network mode is on 'Auto' (LTE/GSM/WCDMA) or 4G/5G and VoLTE is toggled on.

What happens if I don’t switch to a 4G or 5G capable phone?

If you don’t upgrade your device to a 4G or 5G capable one, it will no longer work once we have switched off 3G.

What if my area only has 3G right now?

While both our 4G and 3G networks reach 98% of New Zealanders, there are a small number of areas where 3G has a slightly larger coverage area. 4G coverage will be extended to those areas before 3G is closed.

Do I have to do this change on every 2degrees phone in my household?

All 3G phones will need to be upgraded. You can check your current device on the 2degrees website to see if it is compatible here.

If I get a new phone, what can I do with my old one?

We have a range of phones available either on our website or in 2degrees stores that are 4G and 5G compatible. We’d love you to give us your old 3G phone so we can recycle this for you through our mobile recycling scheme.

Do I need to change my SIM card when I upgrade to a new phone?

That may depend on the type of SIM card you have and the type of device you are upgrading to. If your old SIM card fits into the new devices’ SIM card slot, then you are sorted!

If you require a new SIM card for the new phone, visit a 2degrees store and ask our staff to help move your existing 2degrees number to a new SIM card. Remember to bring one of the following forms of Photo ID to do a SIM Swap:

  • A valid and current New Zealand Passport
  • A current, valid Australian Passport
  • A valid New Zealand 18+ Card
  • A valid New Zealand Firearms Licence
  • A current, valid International Passport

You can check your current SIM card size here.

Will I keep my number if I change my SIM?

Of course! Just remember to visit a 2degrees store and our friendly staff can help to swap your existing number over to a new SIM card.