Telstra providing 12,000 complimentary devices to aid in transition from 3G

Telstra is getting ready to say goodbye to 3G for good. PICTURE: ON FILE

Telstra is providing around 12,000 complimentary mobile devices for some of their customers who are in difficult situations, live rurally or are elderly and who may need some external support transition when the 3G network closes, to ensure they’re able to stay connected after the 3G closure on 31 August.

These customers are in difficult situations, and facing things such as financial hardship, or recovering from a natural disaster. Some of these customers also depend on a working phone because they are living with a life-threatening medical condition. Many of these customers are also over 80 years old and living in regional areas, which can make visiting stores challenging.

Major Brendan Nottle from The Salvation Army said this initiative will benefit the most vulnerable members of our community.

“Connection is one of the most important things to maintain in our society, whether it is with friends and family or with housing and support services,” he said.

“Ensuring that every Australian, from any background or level of income, can take part in our modern digital society is crucial. A phone can be a gateway to social inclusion, community connection and support, and with the upcoming closure of 3G networks in Australia it is important for us to reach out and ensure that this can continue for everyone.”

Telstra will be communicating with eligible customers in the coming weeks to let them know a device is on its way. All they have to do is follow the instructions in their package to switch to their new phone on the 4G network.

There are around 156,000 customers across consumer and small business that Telstra is communicating with to let them know that they have a handset that is either 3G only, does not support Voice over 4G (VoLTE), has 4G coverage limitations, or is 4G enabled but hardwired to use 3G for Emergency calls, and that they need to upgrade before the 3G closure to stay connected.

If you are in this group, you’ll currently hear a pre-recorded message when making an outgoing call on your mobile phone, reminding you to upgrade.

If you are one of these customers, please don’t ignore it. It is there to remind you that your phone won’t work after 31 August, and you should act now before the network closes.

You can SMS 3 to 3498 (3GXT) to check your phone, and if you have any questions – or if you have received any communication from Telstra and are still unsure, you can contact Telstra online, on the phone, or in person.

If you live regionally, Telstra recommend you consider a Blue Tick device, which is a mark that we give phones we’ve tested that deliver superior voice coverage in rural and regional areas.