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2G in Australia

Australia's long-lived 2G network ceased operations in 2017, replaced by its 3G and 4G successors.

What you need to know

  • 2G networks in Australia have stopped operating since 2018.
  • 2G phones and SIM cards no longer work in Australia.
  • You will need to upgrade to a 3G/4G SIM card if you wish to continue making calls and texts.

When did the 2G network in Australia switch off?

Having been superseded by the faster 3G and 4G networks in 2003 and 2013 respectively, 2G began saying its goodbyes in 2016 before going completely offline in 2018.

When was the Telstra 2G network closure?

Telstra shutdown its mainland 2G network in 2016. It was the first telco to move completely to the 3G/4G network and has the widest coverage in Australia, covering 99.5% of the population.

Telstra is currently expanding its 5G network across Australia, which is covering 80% of Australians as of January 2023.

When was the Optus 2G network closure?

Optus followed Telstra's lead a year later and shutdown its 2G network in 2017. Its 3G/4G network now covers 98.5% of Australians.

When was the Vodafone 2G network closure?

Vodafone was supposed to switch off its 2G network in September 2017, but a raft of delays saw it keep its 2G network alive until June 2018.

Vodafone has the smallest 3G/4G network in Australia, covering 96% of the population.

How does the 2G shutdown affect you?

For the most part, the death of 2G has little impact on the average Aussie. Modern phones are built to operate over 3G and 4G networks, and Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all boast 3G/4G coverage to over 96% of the Australian population.

That being said, if you still have an old 2G phone, you'll need to upgrade to a 3G or 4G device if you wish to use it in Australia.

All mobile plans in Australia now run on the 3G/4G network so once you have a phone capable of connecting to the new networks, you'll be able to make phone calls and texts again.

What if I still have a 2G SIM card?

If you've been hanging onto an old 2G SIM card, the sad fact is that it will no longer do you much good. Even if you have a 2G-compatible handset, you won't get any reception or connectivity by slotting in that 2G SIM card. That means no calls, no texts and no internet access since there is no longer a 2G network to connect to.

Your only option is to purchase a new 3G or 4G SIM card and request to have your old phone number ported over to your new plan, assuming you want to keep that same number.

Compare mobile plans on the 3G/4G network

Move onto the 3G/4G network with a new mobile plan on any of the 3 Australian networks.

1 - 5 of 348
Name Product Data Price Apply Price
TPG Large
PrepaidNo lock-in contract
$15/mth for the first 6 months, then $30/mth. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs apply.
TPG Large
Prepaid
$15/mth for the first 6 months, then $30/mth. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs apply.
  • Unlimited national calls & texts
  • Vodafone 4G network
45GB
$15
per month
Go to site
View details
-50%
  • $15/mth for the first 6 months, then $30/mth. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs apply.
  • Unlimited standard national calls & texts
45 GB
Data
$15
per month
Southern Phone Finder Exclusive
PostpaidNo lock-in contract
$5/mth for the first 6 months, then $15/mth. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs apply. Ends 31.1.24
Southern Phone Finder Exclusive
Postpaid
$5/mth for the first 6 months, then $15/mth. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs apply. Ends 31.1.24
Exclusive
  • Unlimited national calls & texts
  • Optus 4G/3G network
5GB
$5
per month
Go to site
View details
Exclusive
  • $5/mth for the first 6 months, then $15/mth. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs apply. Ends 31.1.24
  • Unlimited standard national calls & texts
5 GB
Data
$5
per month
iiNet Medium Plan
PrepaidNo lock-in contract
$12.50/mth for the first 6 months, then $24.99/mth. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs apply.
iiNet Medium Plan
Prepaid
$12.50/mth for the first 6 months, then $24.99/mth. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs apply.
  • Unlimited national calls & texts
  • Vodafone 4G/3G network
16GB
$12.50
per month
Go to site
View details
-50%
  • $12.50/mth for the first 6 months, then $24.99/mth. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs apply.
  • Unlimited standard national calls & texts
16 GB
Data
$12.50
per month
Dodo $25
PostpaidNo lock-in contract
50GB/mth for the first 3 months, then 25GB/mth. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs apply. Order by 27.2.24
Dodo $25
Postpaid
50GB/mth for the first 3 months, then 25GB/mth. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs apply. Order by 27.2.24
  • Unlimited national calls & texts
  • Optus 4G/3G network
50GB
No excess data charges
$25
per month
Go to site
View details
  • 50GB/mth for the first 3 months, then 25GB/mth. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs apply. Order by 27.2.24
  • Unlimited standard national calls & texts
50 GB
Data
$25
per month
felix Subscription Unlimited
SubscriptionNo lock-in contract
$20/mth for the first 3 months, then $40/mth with code FELIX50. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs apply. Ends 31.1.24
felix Subscription Unlimited
Subscription
$20/mth for the first 3 months, then $40/mth with code FELIX50. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs apply. Ends 31.1.24
Finder Award
  • Unlimited national calls & texts
  • Vodafone 4G/3G network
Unlimited data
At speeds up to 20Mbps
$20
per month
Go to site
View details
GREEN COMPANY
  • $20/mth for the first 3 months, then $40/mth with code FELIX50. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs apply. Ends 31.1.24
  • Unlimited standard national calls & texts
Unlimited data
At speeds up to 20Mbps
$20
per month
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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JefferyMarch 27, 2018

    When will Vodafone cease their 2G network in South Australia?

      AvatarFinder
      JasonMarch 27, 2018Finder

      Hi Jeffery,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      Vodafone Australia announced that they will decommission their legacy 2G Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network on 31 March 2018.

      You’ll need to upgrade your current 2G device and SIM card to a 3G or 4G device and SIM card in order to continue to use the Vodafone network after 31 March 2018.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Jason

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