South Africa wants to hold onto 2G/3G
September 15, 2022
By Chris Forrester
South Africa has notified the local telco operators of its intention to end 2G and 3G cellular services by 2025. The operators, including Vodacom, MTN and Telkom, say this could be too soon and have asked for further consultation.
The operators say further discussions are needed in order to ensure that consumers will not be impacted be the ending of access.
The current government plan is to end 2G services by June 2024, and 3G by March 2025. Meanwhile, the government has also announced plans to sell off the released spectrum.
Some of the network operators says the 3G cut-off date is unrealistic. Telkom, for example, while admitting that 2G usage is less than 1 percent of its traffic, but is still carrying a “significant amount of voice traffic on 3G”.
MTN says it is happy with the plans to free up new spectrum, and is in favour of the ending of 3G which it says should happen before 2G with 2G services continuing to be available on a legacy basis for users.
Vodacom says it is looking at the proposals and says that the government’s proposals will require a multi-stakeholder approach.