Singtel, StarHub, M1 to retire 3G services by July 2024
All three mobile network operators providing 3G services in Singapore – Singtel, StarHub and M1 – will be retiring their 3G services by July 31, 2024.
There are approximately 100,000 individual 3G subscribers across the three telcos in the Republic.
This comes after advancements in mobile communications that saw 3G largely replaced by 4G and 5G, said the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) on Wednesday.
In a joint statement on the same day, the three telcos said that services to be retired include voice, messaging and data, which are no longer widely used in Singapore.
“With the retirement of 3G networks, mobile operators will be able to repurpose some of the freed-up spectrum to improve 5G services, which offer faster speeds, higher data throughput, as well as enhanced security and reliability,” the telcos said.
To help the remaining 3G subscribers transit smoothly to 4G and 5G networks, mobile network operators will be providing support to both individual and enterprise users, said IMDA.
Individual users will be given the option to convert from 3G to 4G plans on terms that are no worse-off. The operators will also provide a range of mobile phone options at different price points.
Operators will give support to enterprise users to seamlessly migrate to 4G or other alternative services, minimising disruption to their existing services.
Retailers will also no longer be able to sell 3G mobile phones and 4G models requiring 3G for voice calls. This will take effect from February 1, 2024, except for export purposes.
“This one-year transition period is given to allow mobile network operators to adequately engage and migrate their remaining 3G subscribers before retiring their 3G services,” said IMDA.
The authority added that 3G subscribers should reach out to their respective mobile network operators for more information and assistance.
Customers who are still using 3G-only SIM cards can visit their operator’s website to find out where to upgrade their SIM cards, said the three telcos.
Internationally, operators in countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom are similarly expected to retire 3G services by 2024, while some countries like the USA and Malaysia have retired 3G services, said IMDA.