Vodafone has announced that it will be repurposing its metropolitan 2100MHZ 3G spectrum to be used on its 4G network.
The telco has stated that this upgrade will help boost the 4G network capabilities in select areas.
Optus recently switched on its first 5G sites in Canberra, with a view to roll out to other states in the following weeks and months. The telco didn't indicate where the next site to go live would be, but now we know that it's Sydney.
The 4G 2100MHz spectrum has already begun rolling across the Australian Capital Territory, and will continue across New South Wales from March 18. Vodafone has also confirmed that the reallocation of the spectrum will also flow through to Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia later in the year.
“Our customers are using more and more data - more than 90 percent of our mobile customers use the 4G network with 4G data usage across our network increased by 58 per cent during 2018<" said Tom Joynson, Vodafone's General Manager of Access Delivery Networks
"This upgrade work will ensure the 4G network gets a capacity boost, so more of our customers can use their data to stream their favourite content or use social media, while still keeping our 3G network strong. Once the work is complete in each state, we will be delivering even better service to more than 90 per cent of Vodafone’s mobile subscribers across Australian metro areas."
Vodafone isn't the only telco to take such measures. Telstra announced the shutdown of its own 2100MHz spectrum in September 2018. This will come into effect from March 25.
It's worth noting that these closures and redistribution of bands will render some older mobile devices inoperable.
However, Vodafone's 3G network won't be disappearing entirely. It will continue to host 3G on its 900MHz spectrum and if past experience is anything to go by, it may choose to keep it for awhile yet. Vodafone only killed off 2G at the end of September 2017, almost a year after Telstra did and after 23-years of operation.
Even so, if you do have an older device that you suspect may be on Vodafone's 2100MHz 3G band, be sure to contact the telco.
But while we know where Voda is headed when it comes to 4G, there is still no word on how it will approach 5G after the federal government banned Huawei equipment from the network late last year. We're not expecting to hear about next steps regarding vendors until sometime during Q2.