Digital switchover hub

The UK is moving toward a digital age. Both the landline telephone and 2G/3G mobile networks are changing, which may impact council services for residents.

a purple box with the hashtag digital switchover to the left

What is the digital switchover and 2G/3G switch off?  

Between now and 2025 most telephone providers will be moving their customers from old analogue landlines over to new upgraded landline services using digital technology. The upgrade will be delivered by the telecoms industry in a phased approach. The new digital landline network will provide a future proof, more reliable and dependable broadband service that will support the UK for decades to come. 

Beyond 2033, mobile network providers have confirmed they will not offer 2G and 3G services. Each mobile network provider can choose when they end 2G and 3G services within this timeframe and many have begun phasing out 3G networks already. Switching off 2G and 3G will support the roll-out of the 4G and 5G networks which offer faster and more reliable services. 

What are the implications?  

The landline switchover has serious implications for adult social care due to the connectivity of telecare devices such as fall monitors to the new line. Also, for vulnerable residents who may not have an internet connection or mobile phone, digital landlines cannot carry a power connection so in the event of a power cut they will not work.  

Residents who have older mobile phones will not be able to connect to the new network so will need to update their phone. 

Both telecoms and mobile network providers should contact residents ahead of time if they will be impacted, but we’d encourage anyone who is unsure to check themselves directly with their providers.

What the LGA are doing  

The digital switchover is fast approaching and will impact on a whole range of vital services, including in adult social care. Our survey shows that unless action is taken now to support councils to help their residents and suppliers with this change, we face the prospect of serious disruption to people’s lives, including most urgently those who use personal devices such as alarms and fall detectors to stay safe in their own homes.

Mobile data is vital for running certain services which people use and rely on every day, whether it be for help in paying for parking or providing a vital helpline in social housing. Councils want to do all they can to minimise the impact of the 2G and 3G network switch-off but cannot do it alone. We need government and telecoms leaders to work together to raise awareness of the transition and what it means for those at the sharp end, including on how best to manage the move to the latest technology.

 Cllr Mark Hawthorne, LGA Digital Connectivity Spokesperson

Contact us

Adult social care switchover: [email protected]

General switchover: [email protected]