2degrees to switch off 2G on Thursday

13 Mar 2018

New Zealand mobile operator 2degrees will switch off its 2G network from Thursday as part of plans to refarm its existing spectrum for 4G services.

The operator stopped selling 2G devices in 2015 and announced plans around six months ago to shutter its 2G services.

Now 2degrees is urging any remaining holdouts to upgrade because 2G-only devices will soon cease to operate, which will include an inability to place calls to emergency services.

Since launching as New Zealand's newest mobile network operator in 2009, 2degrees has expanded its 3G and 4G networks to cover 98.5% of the population. The company is reallocating its 2G airwaves for 4G use to keep up with demand.

“We are making this change to better serve the majority of our customers’ needs and keep up with their demand for 4G services. Our 4G network offers data speeds that are around a thousand times faster than the 2G network, which was used mainly for calls and texts,” 2degrees CEO Stewart Sherriff said.

“Customers today want to download video, access social media and to back up their devices to the cloud. None of that existed when we launched with our 2G network - back then the most exciting thing you could do was make a phone call or send a text message. Today’s customers want more and tomorrow’s customers will want things we can’t envision yet. We want to provide the network that delivers the future for them.”

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