South Africa Extends 2G/3G Phase-Out, Operators Decide Shutdown Sequence

By : Samira Njoya

Date : mercredi, 07 février 2024 14:44

In a bid to digitize the nation and boost employment, the South African government is planning a countrywide broadband deployment as part of its digital transformation strategy. The move aims to empower citizens to fully leverage digitized services.  

South Africa has extended the deadline for shutting down its 2G and 3G networks by two years, prioritizing faster 4G and 5G technologies instead.

Previously set for June 2024 and March 2025 respectively, the complete deactivation of both networks will now occur on December 31, 2027. The shutdown process will begin on June 1, 2025, with mobile operators having discretion over which network to switch off first.

"This deadline is meant to allow mobile network operators some level of discretion and for them to decide which network to switch off first. Some operators have indicated that they will commence with the shutdown of 3G in June 2024 in support of the policy," said the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies. 

This decision aligns with the government's draft policy on "next-generation radio frequency spectrum" licensing, launched in September 2022. The policy aims to reallocate existing radio frequencies from older technologies like 2G and 3G to more advanced 4G and 5G networks. This will free up the spectrum for faster mobile internet speeds and wider network coverage across the country.

The transition to newer technologies also seeks to attract investment in telecommunications infrastructure. This is expected to lead to significant improvements in network quality and reliability, benefiting both businesses and individuals.

Furthermore, the widespread adoption of 4G and 5G networks paves the way for innovation in mobile-based services and applications. This could lead to the development of new industries, businesses, and job opportunities, potentially impacting the South African economy positively.

Samira Njoya


Please publish modules in offcanvas position.