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With their 4G services amongst the top contenders in Australia for availability, Vodafone Australia has today announced their plans for shutting down their 2G network next year.

Vodafone will switch off the 2G network on September 30th 2017, a service which has been running since Vodafone launched it in 1993.

Vodafone’s acting Chief Technology Officer Kevin Millroy said that they are giving 12 months notice to better give customers still using the network more notification about the impending shut off. Mr Millroy said

We want to be totally upfront and transparent with our customers by giving them advance notice of the closure of our 2G network late next year. We will work closely with our 2G customers to ensure this transition is as simple as possible.

Vodafone notes the drop in price of 3G handsets, which they say can be had from as little as $30 each, with 4G smartphones available from $99. Both options offer ‘better coverage and call quality, and can also take advantage of capabilities such as video calling, mobile email and social media on some devices’ said Mr Millroy.

Vodafone has noted a decline in usage of the 2G network, advising that 600,000 customers had moved on from the network since January 2013, though some users are still on the network hence the need for an extended notification and transition period.

Vodafone joins both Telstra and Optus in shutting down their 2G networks, with Telstra announced their 2G network shutdown will take place on the 1st of December this year, with 2G customers being notified that it’s time to update. Optus will be shutting their 2G network down next year from April allowing the carrier to re-allocate the spectrum to improve customer experience and mobile services.

Anyone using a 2G device should get in contact with Vodafone to talk about plan updates and investing in a new mobile device so as not to lose service.

Source: Vodafone.