Vietnam to switch off 2G network in December | Asian Telecom
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam / Photo by Marcus Nguyen / Pexels

Vietnam to switch off 2G network in December

The 2G service is still being used by 23 million subscribers in the country

To develop more modern telecommunication technologies, Vietnam is set to completely switch off 2G network services in the country beginning December 2023.

Authority of Telecommunications Nguyen Thanh Phuc under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) said the agency held meetings with telecoms service providers in Vietnam and they pledged to start locking 2G-only devices by yearend.

The 2G mobile network, first used in Vietnam in 1993, has become outdated and is no longer able to meet users’ demands or keep up with the growth of telco services.

The complete switch-off is aimed at optimising the frequency reserves to develop more modern telecommunication technologies, including 4G and 5G networks.

The MIC has also provided guidance to telco service providers in building roadmaps and plans for turning off 2G service and helping users switch to 4G and 5G.

Data from service providers showed that there were more than 26 million 2G mobile subscriptions, or 20% of the 126 mobile subscriptions nationwide, at the start of 2023. It fell to about 23 million as of August this year.

With the shut-off, MIC targets that the number of 2G mobile subscriptions will decline to about 6 million, or less than 5% of the total by the end of 2023, and will be completely shut down in 2024.

The switch-off of 2G service has been carried out in many countries such as Japan in 2011, Singapore in 2017, and China last 2021.

As of October 2022, 142 telco service providers in 56 countries and territories made plans to shut down 2G and 3G networks, and 51 of them turned off 2G service, according to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association.

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