65% of 2G users have migrated to 3G; network to shut down for good on April 18

Mr Rajib, a Bangladeshi worker, showing the 2G phone he uses to call family back in Bangladesh.
Mr Rajib, a Bangladeshi worker, showing the 2G phone he uses to call family back in Bangladesh.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - About 65 per cent of those who use Singapore's 2G mobile network have migrated to using 3G, the Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC) said on Thursday (April 13), just days before the islandwide shutdown of the network is complete on April 18.

Some 60,000 to 80,000 people still use 2G, Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, MWC chairman, said in a press statement on Thursday.

However, a large proportion of these either have both 2G and 3G phones, or dual-SIM smartphones, he said.

"While they continue to access the 2G network, they are at the same time 3G-enabled and will not fall off the grid when 2G ceases. Therefore, there should not be any cause for alarm," said Mr Yeo.

The shutting down of the 2G network, which began on April 1, was carried out in phases. 

2G refers to the second generation of mobile telecommunication technologies, an older generation which includes standards like GPRS that sends mobile data at rates measured in kilobits per second (Kbps).


Most mobile users in Singapore use 3G or 4G, which send mobile data at faster rates.

MWC said it would be ramping up its engagement with migrant workers over the weekend, at their living quarters and places where they gather, to remind them to migrate to 3G phones immediately.

"Migrant workers seeking to migrate onto the 3G network can do so at telco outlets in recreation centres or larger dormitories, as well as at the regular weekend telco roadshows in popular congregation spots," said Mr Yeo. "Our telco partners will continue to offer attractive migration packages to 2G users."

MWC also released a graphic as a guide for 2G users migrating to 3G phones who may face connectivity issues.

The announcement that all 2G voice and messaging services will end was made as early as June 2015, when all three telcos said that the move would affect "an extremely small percentage" of their current base.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), then known as the Infocomm Development Authority, had said that the 250,000 estimated 2G mobile users then formed only three per cent of the total mobile user base.