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What are 3G, 4G and 5G?

Understanding the different generations of mobile technology

Since mobiles became a thing, the technology that supports them has constantly evolved. The ‘G’ in 3G, 4G and 5G stands for ‘generation’ – that is, they’re the third, fourth and fifth generations of mobile technology.

Each generation brought us something slightly new:

  • 2G let us send SMS and MMS text messages.
    Telstra closed its 2G network in 2016

  • 3G brought us mobile internet.
    Telstra is closing its 3G network on 31 August 2024

  • 4G improved on 3G's mobile broadband speeds, making things like video streaming possible.

  • 5G offers faster speeds and lower latency, with more compatible devices able to use it simultaneously without slowing down the network.

3G network closure

Telstra is closing its 3G network on 31 August 2024, which will affect devices that use the 3G network. We’ll get in touch with customers using these devices and let them know what to do.

If you’re a Belong customer, you can check if your device will be affected by texting ‘3G’ to 3498.

More about the 3G closure

Is 5G better than 4G?

Here are the improvements 5G offers over 4G:

  • more network capacity (more people can use it at once without slowing things down)

  • lower latency (which means less lag)

  • faster download and upload speeds

Using 5G with Belong

To connect to the 5G network with Belong, you’ll need:

  1. A 5G device that also supports B28/700MHz (Telstra’s main 4G band – for when you’re in areas that don’t have 5G yet).

  2. To be in an area covered by our 5G network.

See Belong’s coverage map

If you don’t know if your device can use 5G or B28/700MHz, check with the manufacturer, or the box it came in. Most phones released in Australia after January 2019 will use B28/700MHz.

Where is 5G coverage available?

5G is available in most metropolitan areas and regional hubs. To see which areas are covered, take a look at our coverage map.

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