According to BIPT, data consumption on 3G networks has been in free fall for years. In 2022, 96% of mobile data was sent over the 4G network, with just over 2% sent using the 3G network. However, some of our members are telling us that the 3G phase-out is causing them significant difficulty, because replacing the communication devices that use it takes time. The 2G phase-out is also causing concern, even though it won’t begin until 2027, because it may impact everything from smart meters and other IoT devices used for remote sensing and meter readings, to automatic calling systems in cars, security alarms and remote controls.

The timing of the 3G phase out varies by provider:

  • Orange: starting January 2024
  • Telenet: starting September 2024
  • Proximus: end-2024
What to expect?

Based on our discussions with BIPT, some initial findings include:

  • Disabling 2G/3G should not lead to service unavailability
  • Infrastructure sharing agreements for older technology infrastructure will be continued
  • Coverage changes will be kept to a minimum (VoLTE – Voice over Long Term Evolution – which allows you to make calls through your data bundles (currently 4G & 5G, and 6G in the future), does not yet provide the same coverage as the superseded technology)
  • There may be some issues with M2M and eCall

Beltug has met with BIPT to gain further understanding of the shutdown situation. And as our strength lies in members sharing their knowledge, we are also collecting insights and experience from our members. Make sure to contribute yours! (You can send us an email: any comments are welcome, and bullet/’telegram’-style remarks are fine.)

For further information:
  • Insight from BIPT can be found here.
  • Berec’s draft report can be found here.
  • Opinions and reports by the Radio Spectrum Policy Group can be found here.