The third generation of mobile telecommunications network (3G) will be discontinued in Portugal from this Monday, at a time when the vast majority of Portuguese already have access to 4G and the fifth and final generation, 5G, is gradually advancing on the ground.

“We will progressively discontinue 3G technology, in voice and mobile internet services, between September 4, 2023 and January 31, 2024”, confirms MEO and reported by ECO.

Most people will not notice any impact of the end of 3G but the company admits that some may be impacted by the change.

Bragança, Vila Real, Viseu and Guarda are the first regions in the country to be without 3G from MEO, followed by Castelo Branco, Portalegre, Évora, Beja and Setúbal (except the Lisbon Metropolitan Area) from September 30th.

On October 31st, MEO will be disconnecting the third generation in Viana do Castelo, Braga, Aveiro (except Porto Metropolitan Area) and the Azores. On November 30th, 3G ends in Coimbra, Leiria, Santarém, Alenquer, Arruda dos Vinhos, Azambuja, Cadaval, Lourinhã, Sobral de Monte Agraço and Torres Vedras.

The process ends on January 31, 2024, with the disconnection of 3G in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto, in Faro and Madeira.

According to MEO, “with the change from 3G to 4G technology, customers can experience download speeds up to five times faster, and even more so with the change to 5G”, which offers speeds 72 times higher than the third generation. The company also promises “better audio quality” on calls and more battery life on cell phones.

“Mobile equipment that has a 2G and 3G network will continue to have access to the mobile network through 2G technology”, adds MEO. However, access to mobile internet will only be possible through 4G and 5G.

See the list of when 3G will be disconnected by MEO here.