Singapore telecos to phase out 2G services by April 2017

15 June 2015

Singapore's three telecommunications operators said they would cease older second-generation (2G) mobile technology services in the state from 1 April, 2017, due to higher data traffic revenues from increasing smartphone usership.

"To cater for consumers' increased demand for mobile data and faster access speeds, the spectrum currently used for 2G will be used to provide faster, more advanced 3G and 4G services," Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, M1 Ltd and StarHub Ltd said in a statement.

According to the companies only a very small percentage of consumers remained on 2G-only mobile devices.

The city state had a population of 5.5 million, and an annual mobile phone penetration rate of 148 per cent in 2014, up from 92.7 per cent in 2004, according to the Infocomm Development Authority.

According to the companies, the country's 3G and 4G networks had increasingly become the preferred communication method for consumers due to the country's high smartphone usage rates.

According to the joint statement, mobile operators for the respective three telcos had been conducting outreach programs to encourage customers to migrate to newer networks over the past few years.

Singapore had one of the highest rates of mobile and internet penetration in the world.

Meanwhile, in Australia, Telstra would shut down the 2G frequency in Australia by the end of 2016, citing similar reasons.

However, Optus, a wholly-owned Singapore Singtel subsidiary, said it had yet to decide on closing its 2G network.

 search domain-b