Singapore won’t be the only market seeing 2G service come to an end next week – Australia’s Optus announced Tuesday it will commence with its 2G network shutdown on April 3.
Optus said that closure of the 2G mobile network will be staggered, with NT and WA being the first to go next week while all remaining service areas will lose 2G service by August 1.
The 2G shutdown, which was originally announced in August 2015, will allow Optus to review its options for re-allocating some of its 2G spectrum to improve customer experience and mobile services, said Optus networks MD Dennis Wong.
“This is the right time for us to step away from 2G. Customer levels using our 2G mobile network, which was first established in 1993, have significantly decreased in recent years as greater smartphone usage and advances in 4G technologies drive customer preferences for mobile data and faster speeds,” he said.
Virgin Mobile and Optus Wholesale service providers using the 2G GSM network will also be affected, Wong added.
“Our priority has been to prepare our customers for this change and ensure they have sufficient time to upgrade to newer devices. This has involved a range of letters, emails and texts sent over the past 11 months to help them with the transition as much as possible.”
According to a blog post, the 2G shutdown will also affect M2M devices such as vending machines and GPS trackers that use 2G unless such devices are also compatible with Optus’ 3G or 4G network:
If you’re using a 2G or 3G single band machine-to-machine (M2M) device, you’ll need to upgrade to a 4G capable M2M device, also replace any 2G SIM cards and replace any 3G SIMs that are not compatible with your new device.
3G single-band devices (i.e.devices that only use the 2100-MHz band) will also be affected if they move outside of the 2100-MHz, as such devices typically use 2G as a fallback option, Optus said.
Once Optus switches off 2G for good in August, Vodafone Hutchison Australia will be the last man standing – it currently plans to start powering down 2G in September this year. Telstra switched off its 2G network in December 2016.