Telecommunications company, Optus, is shutting down its 2G GSM network. According to the company, 2G services will cease effective April 1, 2017, as consumers increasingly use more data and opt for the latest 4G smartphones.
Virgin Mobile and Optus Wholesale service providers using the 2G GSM network, including amaysim will also be affected.
The Optus 2G GSM network was launched in 1993, providing basic voice and text messaging services.
2G GSM also introduced basic data services such as text-based sports results and stock prices, which have evolved on the newer and faster 3G and 4G networks to include live streaming video and mobile Web browsing.
Optus Networks acting managing director, Dennis Wong, said this opens up options to re-allocate some of this spectrum to improve customer experience and mobile services.
“Greater smartphone usage and advances in 4G technology are driving customer preferences for more mobile data and faster speeds and there has been a steady decline in 2G traffic and customers in the last few years.
“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,” Wong said.
Wong said those on Optus’ 2G network should upgrade to its newer 3G or 4G devices and plans when it closes the 2G GSM network in April 2017.
“Our priority is to prepare our customers for this change and ensure they have sufficient time to upgrade to newer devices. Optus will provide affected customers with more details about options available to them closer to the closure of our 2G network in April 2017. For some customers this might be a simple SIM upgrade,” he said.