Northumberland Council Releases Findings on Impact of 3G Switch-Off

Northumberland Council Releases Findings on Impact of 3G Switch-Off


  • Northumberland Council has been working in collaboration with mobile analysts Streetwave to monitor the effects of Vodafone’s 3G switch-off
  • Vodafone’s Essential Coverage has risen by 3% across the county since the switch-off
  • Vodafone’s average throughput speeds have risen by 10% since the switch-off


Newport, 16 April 2024:
Northumberland County Council has today unveiled the positive results of its research into Vodafone's 3G switch-off.

The data shows that Vodafone is now providing 'Essential Coverage' across 92% of locations in Northumberland, up by 3%, and Vodafone’s average download and upload speeds are faster by approximately 10% after the switch off.

These results align with Vodafone's assurance in February, that repurposing the 3G range for 4G/5G usage would enhance services for customers.

Following concerns raised by residents regarding potential disruptions to mobile networks after the 3G switch-off, the county council has been working with mobile network analysts Streetwave, to collect comprehensive data on the coverage, speed, and phone signal quality in the county.

Since November 2023, weekly data has been collected using state-of-the-art mobile monitoring equipment installed in council waste collection vehicles.


Streetwave 3G Switch Off Report and Press Release

Councillor Richard Wearmouth, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Corporate Services at Northumberland County Council said:

"Ensuring our residents have access to dependable mobile signal is a key priority for the council. It’s fantastic to see that Vodafone’s 3G switch-off is benefiting our communities."

Looking ahead, the council will continue to monitor the switch-off of Three and O2's networks, scheduled to take place in late 2024 and 2025. Notably, no impacts from EE's 3G switch-off were measured as no 3G connections were detected during the surveys across Northumberland.


Vodafone’s Results Across Northumberland:


Network Generation
November 2023 – Percentage of Connections
March 2024 – Percentage of Connections
86% 96%
13% 0%
1% 4%



November 2023
March 2024
Essential Coverage
89% 92%
Average Download Speeds
11.8 Mbps 12.8 Mbps
Average Upload Speeds
4.9 Mbps 5.7 Mbps


Measurements from all network generations (2G-5G) were recorded, collecting more than 9,000,000 data points across Vodafone’s mobile network in Northumberland.

Operators are deemed to have ‘Essential Coverage’ by Streetwave in locations where the networks provide users with above 1 Mbps download, 0.5 Mbps upload, and below 100ms latency. These are areas where basic use cases including data calling, emailing and internet browsing can be performed.


About Streetwave

Streetwave independently assesses mobile network coverage experience from a real-world perspective. Our data, reports and awards provide a view into how consumers experience mobile connectivity in the areas that they live, work and travel.

Learn more about Streetwave’s methodology here.


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