BT EE has completed the shutdown of its 3G mobile network in the UK.

The telco finalized the switch-off last week in Belfast, and has become the first operator in the country to retire the legacy network.

Feature: What the 2G and 3G shutoff means for 5G

BT Group EE
– BT Group

The operator first launched the service more than 20 years ago, but as of last year, only 0.5 percent of its entire network traffic was based on 3G.

BT Group chief networks officer Greg McCall told DCD in August that the service would be decommissioned in early 2024.

McCall said today that the telco will now focus on its existing 4G and 5G networks, plus its 2G network.

"Belfast cemented itself as part of BT Group’s rich history last week as the location where we switched off our final 3G mobile site, bringing an end to the use of the technology in our EE mobile network after more than 20 years," he said.

"Having spent 2023 phasing out customer reliance on 3G and completing a detailed pilot switch-off in Warrington, we were able to confidently start the nationwide 3G switch-off as planned in early January."

Rival operator Vodafone has also started its 3G switch-off, while Virgin Media O2 plans to retire its network by 2025.