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2G / 3G Network Shutdown Status in Africa and Asia

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Many Mobile Network operators across the world have already shut down 3G and 2G to make room for new technologies like 4G and 5G. As operators have a limited range of radio frequencies they are reallocating to more advanced cellular technologies as they can provide better data throughput and additional features that add value to new use cases. In addition to that 2G and 3G rely on older technology which is significantly less efficient than 4G and 5G which provide more reliable and faster services.





There is no universal date for when these shutdowns are happening as each Mobile Network Operator can decide based on their business needs and technology goals. The network shutdowns are expected to affect end users using older mobile devices without VoLTE or 5G capabilities as well as those who are traveling to countries where there are no roaming agreements in place for VoLTE/VoWiFi calls.




Africa is still in the process of reallocation of the spectrum to accommodate the LTE launch. Up until very recently, it was the only region where no 2G or 3G shutdowns have been announced with the exception of Operators in South Africa. The network sunset will be part of future planning though once newer technologies penetrate more.


According to Connecting Africa, "SA government published a draft policy proposing the shutdown of 2G networks by June 2024 and a sunset of 3G by March 2025"


DCDT Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said at a press briefing in 2022

"Acknowledging that spectrum is a finite resource, the adoption of more advanced technologies for economic growth must be matched by a deliberate program to retire old technologies to ensure more spectrum is made available for the country to achieve our objective of offering all South Africans high-speed broadband.Thus this policy proposal sunset of 2G and 3G networks with the aim of availing more spectrum to support deployments of 5G and beyond technologies,"


For Asia, 2G in countries like Japan was phased out a long time ago. The trend will continue with other countries and operators. There are around 29 operators who are looking to shut down 2G by 2025 and 16 shutting down 3G by 2025. Notably, Tawain closed 2G almost 6 years ago. All Mobile Network Operators in Singapore, Macau, and South Korea have also already sunsetted their 2G networks.


According to Telecom Review Asia The Indonesia Ministry of Communications and Information KemKominfo has urged operators to Unwind 3G Offerings.The phasing out of 3G takes priority over the decommissioning of 2G as the former will be superseded by more effective 4G and 5PartnerTaiwanG, while the latter is primarily used for voice communications.

Status of Africa Network 2G/3G ShutdownsC


​Country

Network Operator

2G

3G

South Africa

MTN

By end 2026

South Africa

Vodacom

By end 2025

By end 2023

South Africa

Telkom

Started

By end 2025



Status of Asia Network 2G/3G Shutdowns

Country

Network Operator

2G

3G

Bangladesh

Grameenphone

By end 2025

By end 2026

Cambodia

Smart Axiata

By 2023

China

China Unicom

By 2025

By 2025

China

China Mobile

By 2025

By 2025

Hong Kong

China Mobile

No Service

Hong Kong

Hutchison Telecommunications

No Service

Hong Kong

SmarTone

No Service

India

Bharti Airtel

By 2023

India

Vodafone

By 2022

India

BSNL

By 2024

Indonesia

XL Axiata

By 2022

By 2022

Indonesia

Telkomsel

By 2023

Indonesia

Indosat Ooredoo

By 2022

Israel

Cellcom

By 2025

By 2025

Israel

Golan

By 2025

Israel

Pertner

By 2025

By 2025

Japan

KDDI

No Service

By 2022

Japan

Softbank

No Service

By 2024

Japan

NTT Docomo

No Service

By 2026


Country

Operator

2G

3G

Malaysia

Maxis

Closed 2021

Malaysia

Celcom

Closed 2021

Malaysia

U Mobile

Closed 2021

Malaysia

Digi

Closed 2021

Myanmar

Telenor

By 2024

By 2025

Myanmar

Mytel (Vietter)

No Service

Nepal

Nepal Telecom

Closed 2021

Pakistan

Telenor

By 2025

By 2025

Pakistan

Mobilink

By 2023

Singapore

M1

No Service

Singapore

Singtel

No Service

Singapore

Starhub

No Service

Sri Lanka

Dialog Axiata

By 2022

Taiwan

Chunghwa

Closed 2017

By 2024

Taiwant

FarEasTone

Closed 2017

By 2024

Taiwan

Taiwan Mobile

Closed 2014

Closed 2019

Thailand

DTAC

By 2025

Vietnam

Viettel

By 2022

Vietnam

Mobifone

By 2022

Vietnam

GTEL Mobile

By 2022


Please note that data has been collected during March 2023 from various sources and is subject to change based on each Mobile Network Operator's schedule and timelines.

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Susie Siouti is the Chief Commercial Officer for SmartViser helping organisations in the Telecommunications industry offer superior end-user quality of experience and service with the introduction of innovative test automation products. Susie has 20 years of experience in the Telecoms industry and in that time has led teams across the world mainly in Testing and Compliance. Holding an MBA from Henley Business School brings a diverse set of skills and expertise, including business acumen, strategic thinking, financial management, sales and marketing expertise, leadership, and innovation.


Susie joined SmartViser in 2016, is part of the internal steering committee, responsible for developing and implementing the company's commercial strategy and encouraging a customer-centric culture. The main mission is to help organizations to create value by offering better quality products and services by improving operational efficiency and innovation.


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