TELECOM & INTERNET | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Say goodbye to 2G mobile phone network

Some 140,000 people still using 2G handsets would have to upgrade.

According to a report from AFP, when Singapore pulls the plug on its 2G mobile phone network this year, thousands of people could be stuck without a signal -- digital have-nots left behind by the relentless march of technology.

"From technophobic pensioners to cash-strapped migrant workers, some 140,000 people in highly-wired Singapore still use the city-state's second generation (2G) network and cheap, robust handsets. First rolled out in 1994 -- when playing Snake was the pinnacle of mobile entertainment -- 2G has long been superseded technologically, with new gold standard 5G offering lightning fast connectivity for a generation used to streaming movies and TV directly to phones," the report said.

Telco giant Singtel said from April this year, the 2G network across all telcos in Singapore will gradually be closed.

"But not to worry – you can continue to enjoy our phone and data services without disruption simply by upgrading to a 3G or 4G handset now," Singtel said.

All three telcos, including M1 and StarHub, have laid out their handset deals for both prepaid and postpaid subscribers.

Stating the reason for the cessation of the 2G network, Singtel said, "To cater to increasing demand for data and faster access speeds, it is necessary to close the older 2G network so that faster, more advanced 4G services can be deployed on the same spectrum. Customers using 3G and 4G handsets will not be affected." 

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