South Africa Minister of Communication Khumbudzo Ntshavhen has announced the country’s intention to deactivate 2G and 3G network services by 2025. According to the Minister, while 2G shuts down by June 2024, 3G would follow suit by March 2025. 

What’s more 
To achieve this goal, South Africa is proposing that the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) stops the sales and distribution of 2G devices by the end of June 2023 despite 3G license expiring by September 30, 2024.

  • The government, by this proposal, would bolster 4G and 5G services, as well as boost the country’s participation in the digital economy. 
  • An official statement released by the South Africa government partly reads, “the policy also seeks to promote equity and fair allocation to contribute towards the transformation of the sector and accessibility of digital connectivity even in outlying parts of the country.”

What you should know 
Vodacom, a mobile communication company in South Africa, had previously announced its intentions to stop supporting 2G services by 2024, while MTN, another telecom provider, says it may shut down its 3G services first.

In 2021, major cellphone carriers, including AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, announced plans to shut down 3G networks and older in 2022. These network shutdowns would not only affect phones but other devices operating on a 3G network, including portable Internet hotspots, alarm systems, personal alarm devices, alcohol monitoring devices, etc. 

After the shutdown of the 2G and 3G services, phones operating the network would no longer be able to make or receive phone calls, or browse the internet or access apps with a cellular connection. 

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