The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) reminds 2G mobile users to switch to a 3G or 4G handset by 1 April 2017.
IMDA stressed that from 1 April 2017, the mobile network operators (MNOs) – M1, Singtel and StarHub – will shut down their 2G network in stages across Singapore, adding that the shutdown will be completed by 18 April.
IMDA and the MNOs urge all remaining 2G mobile users to switch to 3G or 4G handsets as soon as possible to continue using their mobile plans.
They noted that 2G users will be able to retain their numbers and subscription plan on the 3G/4G networks at no additional cost and with no re-contract.
IMDA also encourages friends and family of 2G mobile users – in particular the elderly – to assist them in the transition to a 3G/4G handset.
“Seniors who wish to learn how to use smartphones can sign up for courses at selected Silver Infocomm Junctions (SIJ). SIJs are senior-friendly IT learning hubs conveniently located island-wide,” it said.
IMDA noted that the list of SIJs can be found at www.imda.gov.sg/SIJ.
In addition to media campaigns and roadshows, IMDA and MNOs stated that they have partnered with community groups to reach out to seniors on the impending 2G cessation. IMDA and MNOs will like to thank the efforts of these volunteers.
IMDA also said that it has partnered the MNOs to ensure that a range of handset models are available to meet various customer needs, ranging from basic models costing below $50 to feature-rich smartphones. Handsets with simple features similar to 2G phones that current users are familiar with are also available.
In approving the MNOs’ request for the cessation of the 2G network, IMDA said that it had taken into consideration the evolving technology landscape and the migration of consumers to 3G and 4G technologies, which offer more service features and higher data speeds.
2G was first introduced to Singapore in 1994, and the retirement of the 2G network – announced in 2015 – will allow for the re-allocation of scarce radio frequency spectrum to meet increasing demand for higher-speed mobile services.
“This spectrum has been allocated to MNOs for the provision of 3G, 4G or more advanced mobile services,” it added.