Optus and Telstra close 2G network

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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.

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Written by ameliath


Total Comments: 9
  1. 0

    I have had a look on my flip phone,but can’t find an icon that tells me what type of network I am on, I am with amaysim so am I affected by this change?

    • 0

      To check it, get the model number of your phone and Google “Model, etc., specifications”. This will take to the Arena site and will show the full specs of your phone. Or visit the manufacturer site…

  2. 0

    Via google, amaysim site claims to be powered by Optus and so it would be effected post Apr ’16. However amaysim is a virtual operator and may transfer to vodaphone?

    With regard to phones I use the web site http://www.gsmarena.com Enter your make and model. Beneath the network option you’ll need 3G to appear if it will work post ’16.

  3. 0

    Thanks for the information I have checked on 2 sites one says yes the other is indicating no I will just have to wait and see

  4. 0

    Shows some poor customer service……every customer on 2g is a potential new phone buyer and /or upgrade on their service.
    You would like to believe that both Telstra & Optus show a better respect for the possibility of NOT loosing their customers let alone future SALES…..and therefore would make the time to write to each to make an OFFER!!!!
    But sadly it is not their priority……you need to update….you have to everything yourself and they are choosing not to ASSIST!!!
    Dam Poor Show!!!

  5. 0

    I am aware of the changes coming but not sure what to do (unusual). The mobile is not an addiction for me and only rarely used. I mean when one is retired why not get a call on the landline….which one still has to have because of internet? And NBN is on the way.
    Readers aware of budget pay as you go plans please post as this is where a community helps itself.

  6. 0

    It’s true. I got a letter from Telstra telling me that 2G will be fazed out by January 2016 and that I will need to upgrade to a 3G. I went to a Telstra shop and bought a new flip phone. I find it very difficult to use so I took it back and said there was no instructions on how to use it, they told me I will need to go online and download the instructions. This to me is a real pain as my printer is not working, surely they could have run off the instructions for me, this would have been a plus sign in their Customer relations, but no, they are only interested in helping themselves. I can phone people but trying to send a message results in me getting me ready to throw the phone out of the window.

    • 0

      Ain’t technology wonderful. Fortunately once you get the hang of it it will be easy to move from one device to the other. What you are relating is sadly what happens to older people who fail to keep up with technology. I understand.



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