2G Networks are Switching Off

Optus completed the shut down of its 2G network on 1 August 2017. Telstra also switched off its 2G network at the end of 2016 and Vodafone's 2G network will turn off at the end of March 2018. 

Remaining 2G customers will need to either upgrade their SIM or handset to continue to receive service. Contact your service provider to find out what your options are.

While some customers may be happy to upgrade to smartphone, others may prefer to stick with a more straightforward phone just for text and voice. Service providers have a wide range of handsets available and can help affected customers decide what would suit them best. 

If you do decide to upgrade to a smartphone - make sure you do your research first to work out what phone and plan will best suit your needs. MobileTips has tips about how to choose the best plan for you before you buy a mobile.

Information for Vodafone 2G customers:

Vodafone has said that its 2G network will shut down on 31 March 2018 and has advised customer that they won't be able to make or receive calls (including emergency calls), texts or use data on the 2G network once the network is switched off.

Vodafone customers have until the end of March 2018 to upgrade to a 3G or 4G device.

If you always see an "E", "Edge" or "GPRS" symbol in the top right corner of your phone's screen you are probably using a 2G SIM in a 3G/4G device. If you can't see any symbol, you are probably using a 2G device.

Vodafone advise that upgrading is easy and they have plenty of compatible devices and plans available. 

Vodafone is also hosting a series of workshops for Seniors to assist them with the switch to a 3G/4G device with information on:

  • Setting up the basics such as font size, wallpaper, and voicemail
  • Ensuring you have all the tools you need to keep in touch with friends and family who live overseas
  • How to manage your mobile usage
  • How to back up your phone
  • Security tips and tricks.

You can find out more about the workshops and how to upgrade your device at Vodafone's website here.

What to do with your old 2G mobiles?

Customers can recycle their old mobile phones through the industry's MobileMuster program.


MobileMuster is a free mobile phone recycling program that accepts all brands and types of mobile phones, plus their batteries, chargers and accessories. There are over are over 3,500 drop-off points around Australia for customers to recycle including all of the major phone retailers, alongside a free post back recycling satchel available from any Australia Post. For more information on how to recycle visit mobilemuster.com.au


AMTA welcomes deployment regulation amendments

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) welcomes the announcement today from the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Mitch Fifield, regarding the progression of 10 reforms to the regulations governing the deployment of wireless and mobile networks in Australia; as well as further consultation on 11 other proposed reforms. In welcoming the announcement, AMTA Chief Executive, Chris Althaus noted the Government’s reform package will go some way towards enabling the deployment of the next generation 5G mobile networks which are expected to bring significant improvements in speed, quality and capacity for Australia’s data hungry consumers.  But he also noted there was still more to do. “This is a welcome and very important first step - in what we hope will be an ongoing engagement with government and stakeholders to develop a dynamic regulatory framework to meet the deployment challenges of next generation networks.


Final NTP results cannot confirm mobile phone cause cancer in humans

The long awaited final results of the decade-spanning US National Toxicology Program on radiofrequency energy exposure has found no consistent effects in male and female mice and rats exposed to mobile phone signals for their whole life (2 years). However, in a sub-section of the study, researchers found that at the highest doses for the longest periods of time, cellphone radiation might cause a rare cancer in male rats. “High exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in rodents resulted in tumours in tissues surrounding nerves in the hearts of male rats, but not female rats or any mice, according to draft studies from the National Toxicology Program (NTP),” said a press release from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences where the program is headquartered.

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AMTA Annual Report 2017

In 2017, the strong demand for mobile services continues to have an impact on our economy and society as the industry shifts its focus in preparation for 5G, the next generation of mobile technology. AMTA’s latest Annual Report includes the following highlights: As industry prepares for 5G the need for regulatory reform in spectrum management and network infrastructure deployment is increasingly urgent. 5G Mobile – Enabling Businesses and Economic Growth Report by Deloitte Access Economics found that 5G is expected to further drive Australia’s digital economy. It will add to the already significant (and growing) $34 billion in long-term productivity benefits from mobile; and annual network spend from mobile providers is expected to reach $5.7 billion in FY2017-18. The MCF has focused on an agenda of legislative reform to support the efficient and flexible deployment of network infrastructure.


How will 5G improve network performance

While the technical standards for 5G are still being developed, experts agree that 5G will offer: Latency of less than 1ms; Ability to deliver speeds of up to 10 Gbps and beyond; Energy efficiency in running 1000s of devices; and Improved network capacity by enabling millions of low bandwidth devices to connect simultaneously. Where 4G focussed on providing improved speed and capacity for individual mobile phone users, 5G will enable more industrial applications, and could be a major technological driver in industrial digitalisation. For more information about 5G read our latest report from Deloitte Access Economics. Download the complete report.