No more sale of 2G mobile devices for local use from Jan 1, 2017

Cheap 3G phones. The sale of 2G-only mobile devices that are for use in Singapore will not be allowed from Jan 1, 2017.
Cheap 3G phones. The sale of 2G-only mobile devices that are for use in Singapore will not be allowed from Jan 1, 2017. ST PHOTO: NIVASH JOYVIN

SINGAPORE - The sale of 2G-only mobile devices that are for use in Singapore will not be allowed from Jan 1, 2017.

The sale of the such devices for export or overseas use will still be allowed, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said in a release on Wednesday (Dec 7).

Retailers and equipment suppliers who breach this licence condition could be fined.

By April 1, 2017, 2G networks will be retired and mobile network operators will cease providing 2G mobile services.

"The retirement of the legacy 2G networks will allow IMDA to re-allocate scarce radio frequency spectrum to meet the increasing demand for higher-speed mobile data and more advanced mobile services," IMDA said.

IMDA will work with the three telcos - M1, Singtel and StarHub - to continue to facilitate the migration of 2G users to 3G or 4G networks, it said.

Some 160,000, or 2 per cent, of mobile lines in Singapore are still based on the older 2G services, according to figures reported in November.

"Customers with 2G mobile phones may upgrade their devices while still maintaining their current plans and prices with no additional subscription costs," IMDA said.

It advised affected users to approach the telcos for help.

"IMDA strongly encourages consumers and enterprises to replace their 2G-only mobile devices with 3G or 4G-capable mobile devices before April 1, 2017 to avoid disruption to their mobile services," it said.