The Australian mobile network providers have all announced the switch off of their 2G networks:
- Optus’ 2G network will switch off from 3 April, 2017
- Vodafone’s 2G network will switch off on 30 September, 2017
- Telstra’s 2G network was switched off on 1 December, 2016
This article has information for consumers using 2G services on the Optus and Vodafone networks.
Optus will start closing its 2G mobile network with services in Northern Territory and Western Australia to be shut off from 3 April, 2017. Optus’ 2G mobile services in South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory will be shut off from 1 August, 2017.
After the shut off dates, you will not be able to use 2G devices on the Optus mobile network. You will not be able to make or receive call or texts, or access the internet.
If you are using a 2G phone, you will need to upgrade to a 3G or 4G device before the shut off date. You can check if your device uses the 2G network by looking for a 2G, GPRS, EDGE or E icon at the top of their mobile screen.
More information on how to tell if you are affected by the shut off and upgrading your device is available on Optus’ website.
The switch off of the network will also affect Virgin Mobile and Optus Wholesale service providers using the 2G GSM network.
If you are not sure whether the shut off will affect you, contact Optus by phone, online or by visiting your nearest store for more information.
If you are using a 2G service on the Vodafone network you will need to upgrade to a 3G or 4G service before 30 September, 2017.
Vodafone’s 2G service launched in 1993 and today, the service carries less than one per cent of the company’s data traffic and around two per cent of its voice traffic.
Vodafone has said it will work with its customers to upgrade their phones, and it will keep the process simple.
For more information on whether you need to make the switch, contact Vodafone by phone, online or by visiting your nearest store.
Why are the 2G networks switching off?
2G services have been surpassed by newer technologies including 3G and 4G services. They now account for a very small amount of traffic across each of the Australian mobile networks. Each of the network providers has indicated that they will re-use the 2G spectrum to improve other services.
What sort of replacement phone should I get?
Picking a replacement phone can be a bit daunting – there are so many options to choose from. If you do have to get a new phone you should shop around for a plan and handset that suits your needs.
There are plenty of smartphone options available at different price points, and they are available on either post-paid or pre-paid plans. Have a look around to find one that meets your needs.
If you are not looking to get a smartphone, there are a range of feature phones with buttons that you can choose from. A lot of these are available on pre-paid plans. Each provider has different offerings. Many of these phones retail for under $100 and some cost as low as $30.
What do I do with my old phone?
Your old phones will no longer be of use to you, so we would encourage you to recycle them through MobileMuster.