Optus now has a handy 3G shutdown checker for your phone

If you’re not already familiar with the Australian 3G network shutdown, you might want to get cracking. In line with Telstra’s similar service, Optus now has a number you can contact to check if you need a new phone.

Optus is shutting down its 3G network in September, which means many older phones won’t pick up a signal. It also affects some 4G handsets that don’t have VoLTE technology, meaning they revert to 3G connectivity when making emergency calls.

Most phones sold in recent years should work fine, but it’s good to double-check. Optus customers can text “3” to the number “3498” and check device compatibility. According to WhistleOut, telcos using the Optus network, including Amaysim and Moose Mobile, can also text the number.

At present, Optus has the longest deadline slated for its 3G network shutdown. Vodafone was the first, stopping 3G late last year. Telstra originally had a 30 June shutdown date, which it recently pushed back to 31 August. This followed concerns that hundreds of thousands of Australians had not yet upgraded to compatible devices.

Impacting more than just phones, the network closure also affects other network-connected devices. Older EFTPOS machines, security gear, and even some medical equipment may no longer work as intended. In these instances, you’ll likely need to upgrade any affected technology.

Where to find Optus 3G shutdown information

Optus also has a dedicated support page for all things related to the 3G shutdown, including information about compatible phones. Meanwhile, the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association also has an overview of the situation. Its advice essentially boils down to one simple message – if in doubt, contact your telco directly.

The association also offers another common-sense piece of advice following the 3G shutdown: do not test your device by dialling triple-0. Leave the lines open for people in a genuine emergency.

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