2G network shutdown will be costly for users of basic phones

All three local telcos will shut down 2G mobile services by next April ("Singapore to pull plug on 2G networks"; June 16, 2015).

While the majority of mobile phones today operate on the 3G and 4G networks, a considerable number of users still have older models, which will then become useless.

These users are mostly foreign workers, domestic helpers and the elderly, who require only basic services like voice calls and SMS. Parents will also not have the choice to give very simple phones to their children for use in emergencies, for example.

Current users of the 2G technology will have no choice but to upgrade to the more expensive models working on the 3G or 4G bands, and may need to buy plans which exceed their basic requirements.

It is regrettable that what seems to be technological progress is being made at the expense of the weaker segment of society.

Gil Simon Schneider (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 14, 2016, with the headline '2G network shutdown will be costly for users of basic phones'. Subscribe