Reminder: Optus 2G dies next Tuesday

Alex Kidman 26 July 2017

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If you're an Optus 2G-only customer, your time to switch to 3G is seriously short.

We've known for quite some time that Optus was going to decommission its 2G network in Australia in 2017. It was originally going to end 2G on 1 April 2017, but Optus then had a change of heart. The company switched over to a gradual decommissioning plan that saw 2G services cease in the Northern Territory and Western Australia on 3 April 2017, with all other 2G coverage set to vanish on 1 August 2017.

In case you don't have a calendar handy, 1 August 2017 is next Tuesday, which means that if you're still using a handset that is 2G only, or for that matter any service or hardware that only talks 2G, you're leaving it perilously late to switch over to a 3G-capable handset.

Optus has stated that it's been contacting customers still identifiably on 2G-only services to accommodate switching over to newer handsets and SIMs, depending on the capabilities of their devices.

How can I tell if I'm on Optus 2G?

If your handset signal indicator uses a symbol that reads "2G", "GPRS", "EDGE" or just "E" to indicate it's connecting to your service, then it's connecting via 2G, and that most likely means you'll need an entirely new device.

If you're using an M2M style service such as a back-to-base alarm, that could mean contacting your service provider to see what products are available to you. If you're seeing that on a handset, then it's new handset time unless your existing handset already supports 3G frequencies, in which case you should contact Optus about a replacement SIM card.

What should I do with my old mobile device?

While Vodafone's 2G network still has until the end of September before services cease, the reality in Australia is that 2G is effectively dead, and it's not going to be worth your while keeping an old handset.

Recycle your old 2G only handset responsibly, bearing in mind that many of the components and chemicals in a mobile handset can be hazardous to the environment, so please use responsible e-waste recycling methods.

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