Date set for Vodafone 2G switch-off

Telco’s 900MHz spectrum to be refarmed for data traffic

Vodafone will switch off its 2G GSM network on 30 September 2017, the telco announced this morning.

The switch-off will mark the end of 2G in Australia: Telstra will turn off its 2G network on 1 December this year. Optus’ GSM network will be shut down on 1 April 2017.

All three GSM networks launched in 1993.

Vodafone’s 2G network carries less than 1 per cent of the telco’s data traffic and around 2 per cent of its voice traffic, the telco said. Almost 80 per cent of Vodafone’s data traffic is carried by its 4G network.

The telco said it would be refarming the spectrum used for 2G services to carry data traffic. A spokesperson said it would be prioritising shifting its remaining 2G customers to 3G and 4G services and details of the repurposing of the spectrum currently used for its GSM network will be announced down the track.

Vodafone uses spectrum in the 900MHz band for its 2G services.

Along with Optus, Telstra and TPG, Vodafone picked up 1800MHz spectrum earlier this year in an auction conducted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. In May, the government issued a draft direction for ACMA to sell to Vodafone spectrum in the 700MHz band left unsold after the Digital Dividend auction.

Earlier this week the telco apologised to customers after a router failure played havoc with its network.

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