LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Nothing is permanent. 2G mobile networks(1991-20xx)

The talk is about 2G networks being shut down and the frequencies repurposed for other uses. But of course this step will take a lot more time in countries where feature phones still predominate. Perhaps Myanmar will be the first.

The first 2G network was commercially launched on the GSM standard in Finland by Radiolinja (now part of Elisa) in 1991.

In December 2016, Australia’s largest mobile operator Telstra closed its 2G network, which was in operation for more than 23 years. Rivals Optus (owned by Singtel) stopped offering 2G service in early April, while Vodafone Australia plans to decommission its legacy GSM network by end-September.

Singapore’s three mobile operators shut down their 2G networks in mid-April, after a three-week switch-off process.

Japan’s NTT Docomo was the first to turn off 2G in 2011. The other Japanese players quickly followed the market leader, but SoftBank still retains 3 million personal handy-phone system or PHS (2G) customers.

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