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3G being removed from use during 2023

We are moving towards newer technology

Elisa is increasingly investing in newer network technologies (4G, 5G) that offer a better user experience and respond better to current and future needs. During 2023, Elisa's 3G network will be removed from use in phases throughout Finland, after which the frequencies will be available for the 4G network.

 
For most of our corporate customers, services will continue to operate as normal. Investing in the 4G and 5G networks also provides companies with faster and more reliable connections, better call quality and smoother data transfer.
 
Companies with devices that only support the 3G network are a special case. When 3G is removed from use, these devices will switch to the 2G network, and their data transfer rates may slow down significantly. In this situation, we recommend replacing the devices with newer versions that support at least the 4G network.

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Q&A

Why is the 3G network being removed from use?

Elisa is heavily investing in newer network technologies (4G and 5G) that offer a better user experience and respond better to current and future needs. Newer, faster networks will ensure better call quality, fast web browsing and a more comfortable user experience. Newer technologies are also more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. In addition, new SIM cards improve data security and support features like Mobile ID.

When is the 3G network being removed from use?

We plan to run down the 3G network in phases during 2023. Our website will keep you informed about the progress of the 3G network rundown. Please make sure in advance that your subscription, SIM card and devices support newer, more modern networks (4G or 5G).

Why are you shutting down the 3G network instead of the 2G network?

The 3G network is an intermediate network not specifically developed for either voice traffic (2G) or data transfer (4G and 5G). Nearly all data traffic already travels through the 4G and 5G networks, as does an ever-increasing amount of voice traffic. Voice quality is significantly better and more reliable over the 4G network than over the 2G network.

Our network still contains a small number of devices that use the 3G network. After the 3G network is shut down, these devices that only support 3G will switch to a 2G connection. This is why the 2G network will remain in use.

Are there areas that will not have any functioning Elisa network after the 3G network is closed?

Over 99% of the population of Finland already live within the Elisa 4G network, and the network is being continuously expanded. At the same time, we are rapidly expanding our 5G network. Our goal is that after 2023, the Elisa 4G network will cover all the same areas as the current 3G network. You can check whether the network covers your area on our coverage map (link in Finnish).

What are your plans for 2G and 4G?

The change we are implementing in 2023 concerns only the 3G network. We update the 4G network continuously as part of our normal network maintenance, and we expand its range according to usage volumes. We have not yet decided when we will shut down the 2G network, and we will take the degree of utilisation of the network into account when making the decision.

How will you prevent network congestion when one of the networks is removed?

We actively track our network capacity and increase it when necessary. Data traffic already mostly travels through the 4G and 5G networks, and we build more capacity as required. Therefore, the rundown of the 3G network will not have a significant effect on the amount of traffic over the 4G and 5G networks.

What do I need to check before the rundown of the 3G network in 2023?

Replace any 3G devices
  • Ensure smooth internet usage and better voice quality with a modern terminal device that supports the 4G or 5G network.
  • Check in your phone's settings that you have enabled 4G calls (VoLTE) and have not disabled the LTE network. 
Update your 3G SIM card
  • Make sure that you are using an up-to-date SIM card so that it will function as well as possible both in Finland and abroad.
In this situation, you can replace your old SIM card free of charge through OmaElisa for companies. See our instructions for ordering and activating a new SIM card (link in Finnish).

Do I need to change my SIM card?

Most of our customers are already using SIM cards that function in the 4G and 5G networks. However, some of our older SIM cards will only work in the 2G network after the change.

We recommend replacing all outdated SIM cards with new ones. This way, you can make sure that your subscription will work as well as possible both in Finland and abroad. In this situation, our customers can replace their old SIM cards free of charge through OmaElisa for companies. See our instructions for ordering and activating a new SIM card (link in Finnish).

Are 3G networks being shut down in other countries?

Many countries have already run down their old 3G networks. If the device you use does not support at least 4G networks, it will not function as well as before when you are abroad.

Some countries have also decided to run down their 2G networks. For example, some operators in the United States no longer use any networks other than 4G and 5G, and the rest of the operators are also planning to shut down their 2G networks during 2022. If you travel to the United States, you should therefore have a subscription that supports 4G calls (VoLTE) at minimum, and your phone should be able to support VoLTE roaming. This is why we recommend that you check whether your subscription, SIM card and device are up to date.

Why are you announcing the rundown of the 3G network this late?

Elisa was the first Finnish mobile operator to announce the rundown of the 3G network, issuing its first announcements in March 2020. We made these early announcements to give our customers sufficient time to prepare for the change, for example by replacing their old devices with futureproof 4G and 5G devices.

How will the change affect corporate customers with coverage services?

We will review coverage services implemented in the 3G network on a case-by-case basis and contact the customers individually. These services can be modernised, and if needed, we can build replacement technology or close down some of the technology, after which the customer will not need to take any action. The change will happen during 2023, and we will contact the affected customers regarding this issue well before it is implemented.

Devices

Mobile phones • Tablets • Routers

Q&A - Devices

How do I know if I have a 4G subscription and 4G device?

If you can see the 4G, 5G or LTE logo at the top of your phone's screen, your device and subscription can use the 4G network. You can also check your device’s compatibility in the user manual. Our shops and customer service are happy to help you!

Most of our subscriptions already operate over the 4G and 5G networks, and during 2023, we will update the rest of our subscriptions to have access to the 4G network.

Below, you can find a list of popular 3G phones and routers:

Mobile phones
CAT B30
Doro 5516
Doro PhoneEasy 530X
Nokia 208
Nokia 301
Nokia 3310
Nokia C2-01
Samsung Xcover 271

GSM desk phones
Huawei B160
Huawei ETS6630
Huawei F610
Huawei F615
Jablocom Essence GDP-06
Jablocom GDP-04

Routers
Huawei E173u-2
Huawei E1752
Huawei E1752C
Huawei E1762
Huawei E3131s-2
Huawei E353
Huawei E3531

The device I am using only supports 2G and 3G networks. Do I need a new device?

After the 3G network is run down, your device will only be able to use the 2G network. This will prevent you from using the internet, including web browsers and other apps. Call quality is also significantly better over the 4G and 5G networks than over the 2G network.

To ensure you continue to have a smooth user experience, we recommend you replace your old device with one that supports the 4G or 5G network.

How can I check which model of device I have?

You can check your device model in settings:

  • Android: Settings -> About phone
  • Apple: Settings -> General -> About
or from your device’s user guide.

M2M devices

Surveillance cameras • Alarm systems • GPS trackers • Payment terminals and vending machines • Water, electricity and district heating meters • Air quality sensors • Positioning devices • Data communications devices in lifts, vehicles and work machines

Q&A - M2M devices

I am using a special device that uses the 3G network, such as a security/alarm system, trail camera or electricity meter. Will these devices work over the 2G network?

Most 3G network devices can also use the 2G network. Make sure that the 2G connection is fast enough for your terminal device. Replace the device if necessary.

I don't know which network (2G, 3G, 4G or 5G) my device uses. What should I do?

Elisa does not have details about what kinds of device the M2M interface is installed on. This means that we have no way of knowing how your device will function after the rundown of the 3G network.

You can usually find out which mobile network technology your device uses from the user manual, technical documentation or retailer.

Do I need to change my SIM card?

In principle, you should have no need to replace your SIM card due to this change. Elisa's M2M/IoT SIM cards have supported 4G since 2013. If your device's SIM card is older than this, it may be a good idea to get a new card when you change your device, for example. See here for instructions for changing your SIM card (in Finnish)

My M2M subscription is for a payment terminal or security camera. Will it be affected by the change?

M2M subscriptions are used for many very different devices, such as payment terminals, lifts and security cameras. Whether the device will continue to function after the 3G rundown depends on the mobile network (2G, 3G or 4G) the device uses, how it is used, and the amount of data transferred by the device. Payment terminals should also be able to operate over the 2G network.

If you are using a 3G trail camera and you want to get the images or videos through your M2M subscription, we recommend updating to a 4G device. Low-resolution stills may transfer over the 2G network, but videos most likely will not. 2G cannot transfer a live feed.


I am using a special device that uses the 3G network, such as a security/alarm system, trail camera or electricity meter. Will these devices work in the 2G network?

Most 3G network devices can also use the 2G network. Make sure that the 2G connection is fast enough to serve the needs of your terminal device. Replace the device if necessary.

My device's settings force it to use the 3G network. How will my device function after the change?

If your device’s software forces it to use the 3G network, the data connection of your device will no longer work after the 3G rundown. You must free the device to use other networks so that it can operate over the 2G network after the change.

My company has a large number (dozens or hundreds) of devices with M2M subscriptions within a small area. Will they function after the change?

If the devices can operate over the 4G network, there is no issue.

The devices will switch to the 2G network after the 3G rundown. However, the old 2G technology limits the number of simultaneous users, which may cause problems with capacity. We recommend replacing your devices with 4G devices, particularly if their functionality is critical (such as security phones, alarms, security equipment, etc.).

Which corporate customer services are critical in this change?

M2M subscriptions that are used in housing companies' heating control systems and locks. M2M 3G devices will switch to the 2G network. The service will operate in the 2G network if the terminal device does not support the 4G network. Remote electricity and water meters as well as payment terminals also partially operate over the 3G network.

Do you have questions?


Our customer service will help you.