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Optus Completes 2G Network Turn Off

Optus closed down remaining 2G network on 1 August

Optus finalised the shut down of its 2G network across Australia on 1 August, with 2G services across QLD, NSW, ACT, VIC, SA and TAS turned off from 1 August 2017.

This is the second and final phase of the shut down following 2G services being turned off across NT and WA in April.

Customers of Virgin Mobile and Optus Wholesale service providers using the 2G GSM network will also be affected.

As 2G capabilities become eclipsed by 3G and 4G network technologies, the closure will allow Optus to review options to re-allocate some of this spectrum to improve customer experience and mobile services and also investigate emerging technologies such as 5G.

Dennis Wong, Managing Director of Networks at Optus said, “Our priority throughout this process has been to ensure our 2G customers are prepared for this change and have the right level of support to allow for a smooth transition toour 3G and 4G services.”

“There is no doubt that the 2G network, which was first established in 1993, played an important role in our network, particularly when we were first establishing ourselves across Australia.

“Nearly 25 years on, and our customer levels using the 2G mobile network have significantly decreased as greater smartphone usage and advances in 4G technologies drive customer preferences for mobile data and faster speeds.This was the right time for us to close the 2G network,” said Mr Wong.

For people looking for more information or that may have questions around what to do, Optus recommends they visit this blog post on the Optus Yes Crowd blog

It's also the perfect time to recycle your old 2G handsets through AMTA's MobileMuster program. Find your nearest drop-off location here.

17 Aug 2017




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.