Singapore’s industry regulator Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) has issued a statement today reminding the rump of people still on a 2G-only service to switch to a 3G or 4G handset by 1 April, ahead of the formal shutdown of services. IMDA has instructed mobile network operators (MNOs) Singtel, StarHub and M1 to shut down their 2G network in stages across Singapore; the process is scheduled to be completed by 18 April 2017. The watchdog’s statement has reminded 2G users that they will be able to retain their numbers and subscription plans on the 3G/4G networks at no additional cost and with no re-contract fee.
Last year the MNOs announced that any new pre-paid SIMs sold from 15 November would no longer support 2G handsets. At the time, they confirmed that existing pay-as-you-go SIMs would not be affected by the plan, and urged all customers still using GSM-based handsets to upgrade to a 3G or 4G-enabled device as soon as possible. Subsequently, IMDA announced that the sale of 2G-only mobile devices in the city-state would stop from 1 January 2017, noting that any retailers or equipment suppliers caught selling unregistered 2G-only mobile devices for use in Singapore could be given a financial penalty. The decision to withdraw 2G-only mobile services in the Republic from April 2017 is part of a plan to reuse precious frequency spectrum for more advanced mobile services.