Vodafone to end 3 mobile service completely

Several hundred thousand customers still on the legacy 3 mobile service will need to switch in the next three months before Vodafone retires the brand completely.

The remaining several hundred thousand customers still using the 3 mobile service will need to switch over their service by the end of August, as Vodafone brings to an end Australia's longest running 3G mobile network brand.

Image: Josh Taylor/ZDNet

3 mobile was launched in Australia in 2003 by Hutchison as Australia's first commercial 3G network. In mid-2009, Vodafone and Hutchison in Australia merged to form Vodafone Hutchison Australia .

In 2011, Vodafone announced it would cease offering 3 mobile plans to new customers, and would encourage existing customers to re-contract with Vodafone instead but insisted at the time that the 3 brand would remain.

Then in 2012, Vodafone and Telstra shut down the joint 2100MHz 3GIS network Telstra and 3 had shared.

Today Craig Reines, Vodafone's director of sales and service has announced that 3 mobile customers would need to be moved over by August 30, 2013 because the 3 service will be switched off entirely.

"3 customers have already been using the Vodafone network since August 2012, so all they need to do now is pick up a new Vodafone SIM and plan to continue to use their same handset and mobile number. We are working hard to ensure customers have a seamless experience," Reines said in a statement.

Vodafone could not disclose the total number of 3 customers that have remained since the merger, but it is understood to total several hundred thousand. Vodafone's total customer base sits at slightly over 6 million .

As Vodafone also brings an end to the agreement for 3 mobile customers to roam to Telstra's network in regional areas at the end of June, Reines said that Vodafone was already in contact with the 1 percent of 3 Mobile customers that would be significantly impacted by the end of this agreement, and would ensure that all customers were switched over.

The company announced last week that it had expanded its 3G network footprint to 1,200 sites ahead of a 4G launch later this month.

The news follows an announcement in February that Vodafone would end the Crazy John's brand in Australia .


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