Australian operator Telstra has revealed plans to switch off its 2G GSM network by the end of 2016.
In a blog post announcing the plan, Telstra group managing director for networks Mike Wright said the company’s 2G network has been operating for 20 years.
“As technology evolved and mobile phones have become smarter, customers have naturally moved to our 3G and 4G networks that offer faster speeds and a user experience that we could only have dreamed about 20 years ago,” he said.
With Telstra already trialing LTE-Advanced, the 2G network is about to seem even more obsolete.
As of today Telstra’s 2G network accounts for just 1% of the operator’s total network traffic, and the company has not sold a 2G phone for several years, Wright said.
Telstra will spend the next two and a half years migrating the few remaining 2G retail customers onto its 3G and 4G networks. The company is offering to swap 2G SIMs for 3G cards at no extra costs.
Telstra asserts that its extensive Next G 3G network covers 99% of the Australian population.