Thai telecoms regulator NBTC has set a schedule for the mandated shutdown of 2G networks across the country in order to free up capacity for 5G deployment.
The regulator has ordered an end to all 2G services by October 2019, the Bangkok Postreported.
Thai operators have been instructed to take steps to migrate all 5.2 million remaining 2G subscribers onto 3G and 4G networks. Operators may be required to subsidize new handsets for 2G subscribers to ensure customers are not forced to spend more during the transition.
Pending approval for the plan from the NBTC board, the regulator and operators will commence a multi-stage transition towards shutting down 2G. The first stage will involve disallowing further imports of 2G equipment.
From next month, operators and NBTC will meanwhile move to raise public awareness of the impending 2G shutdown and spread details about the transmission process.
Operators will subsequently have to take transition measures including providing handset giveaways and promotional packages to encourage 2G subscribers to migrate.