The Department of Communications and Digital Transformation in South Africa has announced an extension to the deadline for shutting down the country’s 2G and 3G networks.
The original plan was to shut down 2G by June 2024 and 3G by March 2025. However, the total shutdown of both networks has now been rescheduled for 31 December 2027, with the switch-off due to commence on 1 June 2025.
The department said, “The commencement for the shutdown of the 2G and 3G services is 1 June 2025. 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 to support the policy.”
“The total shutdown of the 2G and 3G networks is scheduled for 31 December 2027,” it added.
However, the department notes that the dates depend on a risk impact assessment study that will be published within a year of the final publication of the next-generation radio frequency spectrum policy.
“After the spectrum policy was published in September 2022, the Department received substantive inputs from the public, including industry members and services sectors,” it said.
“The Minister considered public comments and inputs that requested an amendment to the timelines for the shutdown of the 2G and 3G networks.”
This indicates that the shutdown extension may have come due to stakeholder requests.
“Taking into consideration the facts mentioned above, the Minister is still on track to ensure that the Spectrum Policy determinations are achieved,” the department added.