I'm going to buy an Android phone which has unfortunately blocked 4G calls by the operator. Only 3G calling will be possible. I think it's enough for voice, but:

Since I travel a lot, is the 3G network available everywhere when 4G is? Or is it completely different technology so I might end up in the places where only 4G signals are available, but no 3G?


2 Answers 2


I had to discard fully functional smartphone because we have no more 3G in germany. This concerned UMTS mobile data only, GSM phone calls still possible.
Nevertheless UMTS is independent from LTE so the answer is NO


If 3G/UMTS is available for calls depends on the country you are living in. A lot of countries have shut down older mobile networks like GSM/2G and 3G or planning to do so.

But every mobile operator and every country it can be different what networks are shut down.

  • In Germany the 2G network stays, only 3G is shut down.
  • In Switzerland Swisscom has switched of 2G completely, 3G is still active
  • In USA 2G networks are mostly shut down already and 3G networks are mostly shut down next year source.
  • In some Asian countries as far as I remember 2G and 3G has been shut down

So the answer is no, 3G and 4G are totally independent form each other.

Therefore today buying a phone that has no 4G + VoLTE support is not a good idea.

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