If you’re one of the dwindling number of Australians still using the 2G mobile network, you might be aware that change is coming.
In July, Telstra sent a text message to its 2G customers informing them that it will be closing the 2G network on 1 December 2016.
Optus made the same declaration in August, announcing that it too would shut down its 22-year-old 2G Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network on 1 April 2017 – four months after Telstra.
The 2G network, which was first installed in the early 1990s, introduced data services for those wanting to access basic information, such as text-based lotto results and stock prices. However, 2G technology is now becoming obsolete, as more Australians are switching to the latest 4G smartphones and gaining access to sophisticated data.
“2G now constitutes a fraction of our total mobile network traffic and is declining significantly year on year. Mobile service providers globally, including in Australia and our parent company Singtel in Singapore, are closing down 2G networks to support newer technologies,” said Dennis Wong, Acting Managing Director of Optus Networks, in August.
Both telcos are encouraging 2G customers to start thinking about upgrading to newer 3G or 4G devices and plans, and will release further information closer to the time. For many people, this will mean purchasing a newer phone, for others, they may be able to get away with a simple SIM upgrade.
Customers who are unsure of which network they’re using can easily check if their device uses the 2G network by looking for a 2G, GPRS, EDGE or E icon at the top of their mobile screen.
To help you make the switch to 4G, check out our guide on choosing the right smartphone for you.