Vodafone Australia has revealed that it plans to switch off its 2G network on 30 September 2017, ZDNet Australia reports. According to the mobile network operator (MNO), its 2G infrastructure now carries less than 1% of its total data traffic and just 2% of its voice traffic; by comparison, Vodafone’s 4G network accounts for almost 80% of data traffic. It is understood that the spectrum freed up by switching off the 2G network will be repurposed to augment and extend Vodafone’ 4G infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Vodafone has said it will begin transitioning 2G customers onto its 3G and 4G networks over the year, with the cellco’s acting CTO Kevin Millroy cited as saying: ‘We want to be totally upfront and transparent with our customers by giving them advance notice of the closure of our 2G network late next year … We will work closely with our 2G customers to ensure this transition is as simple as possible.’
Vodafone’s decision to switch off its 2G network follows similar announcements from both its MNO rivals Telstra and Optus. As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in July 2014 Telstra became the first to confirm its plans, announcing that it was aiming to close down its 2G GSM network in December 2016. For its part, in August 2015 Optus revealed that it is planning to close its 2G network from 1 April 2017.