2degrees is changing out old technology for new and shutting down 2G services on its nationwide mobile network in March 2018.
2G, or second generation wireless technology, is a mobile communications standard that offers calling, SMS and limited data transmission. It became commercially available in 1991 and has since been superseded by 3G and 4G technologies, with 5G the expected next standard.
2degrees CEO Stewart Sherriff says that while 2G is a dated technology and it makes sense to replace it with 4G services that customers increasingly demand, the company is mindful that there are still some customers with 2G only phones and devices.
“While our 2G customers make up a small and declining percentage of our overall customer base there are still a few 2G devices out there, some in gloveboxes as barely used back-up phones. While we are making this change to better serve the majority of our customer’s needs, we are also committed to helping 2G customer’s upgrade.”
2degrees has not sold 2G mobile phones since 2015 and Mr Sherriff says the company has been actively encouraging 2G customers to move to 3G and 4G phones for the past year. 2G customers will now have six months to upgrade.
“We think 6 months is enough time for people to make the change without forgetting that they need to, we will be contacting 2G customers multiple times to help them upgrade their devices”
Telecommunications companies world-wide have been moving away from 2G technologies based on the explosion of smart phone use and data consumption.
Mr Sherriff says the closure will also impact ‘machine-to-machine devices’ such as some payment terminals and GPS devices, but the company will work directly with its machine-to-machine customers, some of whom already have upgrade paths in place.
“Our focus over the next few weeks will be communicating with customers about the change and making it easy for them to upgrade devices and phones.”
Mr Sherriff says that a good guide for customers is that generally speaking 2G only mobiles are not smartphones.
2degrees has set up a webpage where customers can check if their mobile phone is a 2G handset and review their upgrade options at 2dm.co.nz/2g.
Will you need to upgrade your phone?
- When your mobile device is turned on, check the top of your phone (next to the phone’s signal bar indicator). If you only ever see a 2G, Edge, E or GPRS, then it is highly likely you have a 2G device or that your device settings are locked to 2G.
- If you see a 3G, H+, 4G or LTE on the top of your phone (next to the phone’s signal bar indicator), then you have 3G or 4G compatible device and should be fine.
- Visit 2dm.co.nz/2g for further information.
Since launch in 2009, 2degrees has made a competitive impact on the New Zealand telecommunications market. The company has built a nationwide mobile network and lowered costs for Kiwis. In early 2015 2degrees acquired internet service provider Snap to become a full service telecommunications provider. 2degrees has over 1.4millions customers, 1,200 staff, 55 retail outlets and 98.5% mobile network coverage across the country which is complemented by ADSL, VDSL and UFB services.