Say goodbye to Optus’ 2G network – the telco will be shutting down the service in Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania on August 1, with Northern Territory and Western Australia already switched off.
But what does this mean for you?
If you or a loved one have a 2G SIM card, Mobile Handheld, Mobile Broadband, Tablets or wireless Machine-to-Machine (M2M) device it won’t work on Optus’s network anymore. You won’t be able to make or receive voice calls or SMS, access voicemail or use data services.
If you’re with Virgin Mobile or an Optus Wholesale service provider using the 2G GSM network, you will also be cut off.
If you have life critical 2G services that are used for monitoring health, emergency services, occupational health and safety duress, security and fire alarms or other remote safety situations, these will no longer work. You need to contact the provider of these services right now.
If you have a 2G handheld mobile, emergency calls to 000 or 112 won’t be possible unless you’re within the 2G network coverage area of another carrier. Your device screen is likely to display “SOS” or “Emergency Calls Only” when you’re within range of another carrier.
If you have a 2G SIM card in a 2G device, you’ll need a new 3G SIM card and new device. If you have a 2G SIM card in a 3G/4G device, you’ll need a new 3G SIM card. If you have a 3G SIM card in a 2G device, you’ll need a new device. Your new device might not fit your current SIM card though, so you might need a new one anyway. And if you have a 3G SIM card in a 3G/4G device, you’ll need to check your device network settings are configured to “Auto”.
If your SIM card and/or device was supplied by your workplace, and you received an SMS about 2G service impacts, you’ll need to discuss upgrading your services with your employer.
If you’re unsure of the 2G service impact to you, use the tips below to identify whether your service was previously operating on the 2G mobile network.
At the top of your phone or tablet screen, when it’s turned on, you would previously had seen these symbols “2G, Edge, E or GPRS”. These will no longer display and you will now see “No Service” or something similar depending on your device. You’ll need to replace your SIM card and/or device or both.
If you previously had “2G, GSM, E or EDGE” symbols at the top of your screen, and now you see “No Service”, “SOS” or “Emergency Calls Only”, the device was operating on the 2G network and will need to be replaced. If you can now see “3G, HSPA, 4G or LTE” symbols at the top of your screen, the device can operate on 3G/4G services.
If you’ve found that your device and SIM card are both compatible with the 3G/4G network, the last thing to check is that your mobile settings allow you to use their 3G/4G capabilities.
Check that your device network mode is set to Automatic by accessing “Settings” or “Network Settings” on your mobile. If the device you’re adjusting is a mobile broadband device, you may need to make the adjustment through its “Connection Manager”.
If you need more help, Optus has a comprehensive FAQ section set up on its website.
Optus released a statement today explaining the reaseon for the shutdown.
“As 2G capabilities become eclipsed by 3G and 4G network technologies, the closure will allow us to review options to re-allocate some of this spectrum to improve customer experience and mobile services and also investigate emerging technologies such as 5G,” it reads.
“Our priority throughout this process has been to ensure our 2G customers are prepared for this change and have the right level of support to allow for a smooth transition to our 3G and 4G services,” said Dennis Wong, Managing Director of Networks at Optus said.
“There is no doubt that the 2G network, which was first established in 1993, played an important role in our network, particularly when we were first establishing ourselves across Australia.”