Singapore mobile operators to cease 2G services from April 2017

SINGAPORE - Singapore's mobile service providers M1, Singtel and Starbub will cease to provide 2G services in Singapore with effect from April 1, 2017, according to a joint statement from the telcos on Monday.

This will apply to 2G voice, messaging and data services.

According to the release, the spectrum currently used for 2G will be used to provide faster, more advanced 3G and 4G services. It added that at the current moment, the majority of mobile customers are on 3G and 4G networks, only an "extremely small percentage of customers" remain on 2G-only mobile devices.

The mobile operators say they will continue to reach out to affected 2G users through various channels as relevant, including SMS, calls and posters at their retail outlets, in the run-up to the 2G network closure.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) said in a statement that there are now about 250,000 subscribers to the 2G service, or about 3 per cent of total mobile subscriptions in Singapore.

In approving the telcos' request to end 2G service, IDA has required them to ensure that current 2G users "transit smoothly to the 3G networks".

IDA said that the telcos have agreed to allow existing "2G subscribers to continue with their existing mobile plans at no additional cost after they have migrated to the more advanced 3G networks, if they choose not to subscribe to new service plans".

Affected subscribers using 2G-only phones will need to change their phones, IDA said. The telcos have said that these users "need only to place their SIM cards into a 3G or 4G device to enjoy 3G/4G service immediately".

IDA has said that telcos will "make available low cost 3G mobile phone packages to facilitate the migration".,