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Small businesses urged to prepare for impending 3G switch-off

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson has reminded small, family and farming businesses to ensure that they prepare their devices so they are not adversely affected by the impending 3G switch-off, which is set to take effect between August and September.

The reminder comes as Telstra recently announced that it is set to switch off its 3G network beginning 31 August 2024, and Optus have scheduled its 3G switch-off from 1 September 2024. TPG Telecom/Vodafone has already switched off its 3G network early this year.

“The 3G switch-off will affect more than just your mobile phone signal,” Billson said. “It could affect EFTPOS terminals, security systems and cameras, scanners, industrial routers, tablets, smart watches, asset tracking tools, surveying instrument, water and environmental monitoring and many of the wireless operating systems on farms.

“Even some 4G-enabled devices have aspects that are powered by 3G, but users may not realise until they stop working, so it makes sense to have those checked as well,” he added.

While the majority of network-capable devices today are at least compatible with the 4G network, business are being advised to verify the compatibility of all their devices to ensure no disruption in their operations.

“It is vital small, family and farming businesses take action urgently to find out if they will be affected and if so, upgrade their technology before business-harming disconnection and technology dysfunction is the first they learn about it,” Billson said.

The ASBFEO has advised small businesses to contact their telecommunications provider or device manufacturer to confirm if a device will be affected. Those on the Telstra or Optus network can text “3” to the number 3498 and will receive a response whether that device is affected.

“But, beware of scams and only contact mobile providers using trusted information and links,” Billson cautioned.

This story was originally published on Inside Small Business.

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