The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) in Hong Kong has warned the territory’s remaining 2G handset users that they should look to upgrade to newer alternatives to ensure that they retain connectivity. While formal plans for a full 2G shutdown have yet to be announced, the regulator says that the reassignment this year of spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands – both currently used for 2G services – means that mobile network operators (MNOs) will be looking to refarm 2G spectrum to support more advanced technologies such as 4G or 5G.
In a statement, the watchdog said: ‘With less spectrum deployed for 2G networks, MNOs may gradually scale down their provision of 2G services. Customers using old mobile handsets which support reception of 2G services with only one of the above frequency bands may be affected in the process.’ It is urging consumers to contact their service provider to upgrade their plan to 3G or above.
OFCA completed the reassignment of 2×25MHz of frequencies in the 900MHz range yesterday (12 January), with licences now valid for a further 15 years to January 2036. 1800MHz spectrum is due to be reassigned in September this year.