Optus will reallocate some of the 2100MHz spectrum it currently uses to support 3G services, redeploying it from late April 2022 for use with 4G and 5G services.

The network provider will continue to offer 3G services after April 2022, but only via its 900MHz spectrum. Optus customers with 2100MHz-only 3G devices will then need to switch to a device with 4G LTE capability.

Optus wholesale service providers using the 2100MHz services will also be affected,  its announcement states.

The spectrum reallocation will help Optus provide a better 4G network experience and support growth of 5G, the carrier stated.

“In the last 12 months we have really seen our customers embrace 5G technology with take up of 5G enabled devices growing significantly,"  stated Lambo Kanagaratnam, Optus Managing Director Networks.

"It’s important that our spectrum assets are working well for customers, enabling them to truly benefit from innovative and emerging technologies on our world class networks as they move to new and more advanced 4G and 5G devices,” Kanagaratnam added.

“We know that our customers are using more data than ever. They’re downloading, sharing and streaming content, using apps and connecting with friends and colleagues virtually. In order to support this thirst for connectivity it’s vital that we evolve our network and redeploying our 2100MHz spectrum assets to better accommodate next generation technologies is an important step in achieving this.”

Optus cited industrial automation as one of a range of expected 5G consumer and enterprise uses cases.

In 2019, Telstra announced plans to switch off its 3G voice and data services in June 2024.

The same year, Vodafone announced it would reallocate some of its 2100MHz spectrum, then used for 3G, for use with 4G services.