Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced on Wednesday (7 December) that the sale of 2G-only mobile devices in the city-state will not be allowed from 1 January 2017. In its edict, the watchdog notes that any retailers or equipment suppliers caught selling unregistered 2G-only mobile devices for use in Singapore could be given a financial penalty. They also said that dealers with a valid licence will be allowed to continue selling such devices, but only for export or overseas use. The IMDA says the decision forms part of its aim to withdraw 2G networks and mobile services in the Republic on 1 April 2017.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, last month Singapore’s three mobile network operators (MNOs), Singtel, StarHub and M1, announced that any new pre-paid SIMs sold from 15 November would no longer support 2G handsets. The MNOs’ statement added that while existing pay-as-you-go SIMS are not affected by the plan, they would urge all customers still using GSM-based handsets to upgrade to a 3G or 4G-enabled device as soon as possible. ‘A wide range of 3G and 4G handsets are available at retailers across the island to enable customers to make the transition to 3G or 4G networks,’ the telcos said.