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IMDA: 2G network services in Singapore will cease on 1st April 2017

By Liu Hongzuo - on 28 Mar 2017, 2:10pm

IMDA: 2G network services in Singapore will cease on 1st April 2017

2G mobile users will need to switch to a 3G or 4G-capable mobile handset soon, as 2G mobile networks will cease operations on 1st April 2017.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore posted this reminder yesterday (27th March 2017).

Most dual-SIM smartphones released from 2015 are able to receive a software update that will allow 3G or 4G network support on both SIM slots – previously, these phones work with a 4G/2G configuration, but each individual phone brand has since updated their latest devices to handle at least 3G networks on either SIM slot.

Alcatel Onetouch Pop D3 (pictured). One of the handful of alternatives by Singtel to help existing 2G customers migrate to newer 3G and 4G networks.

The plan to move on from 2G services has been underway since 2015, with IMDA prohibiting sales of 2G mobile devices for local usage since December 2016. We’ve also highlighted how the local telcos (Singtel, StarHub, and M1) have been offering low-cost mobile plans and alternatives to help ease users into getting a serviceable device before the switch happens. Users will be able to retain their existing numbers. For senior citizens, IMDA has set up learning hubs called Silver Infocomm Junctions to help them ease into using a 3G smartphone.

This move is not unique to Singapore, since countries like Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, and the U.S. have already shut down some, if not all of their 2G networks. Taiwan will begin theirs in June 2017.

We’ve reached out to various smartphone manufacturers with an official local presence for their feedback on existing dual-SIM handsets supporting 3G networks on both slots. Below are brands that have existing statements or have replied. There’s also an unofficial list of mobile devices put together by our forum members.


Statement by Huawei:

Telecommunications technologies are always evolving. That is why all Huawei flagship models, i.e. the P series (from P10 onwards) & Mate series (from Mate 9 onwards) dual-SIM feature support both 3G & 4G network to offer the best network options for Huawei users. The 2G slot alternates as a microSD card slot in Singapore and continues to support 2G connection outside of Singapore. - Head of Public Affairs, Huawei International Pte. Ltd.

There will be no software updates for older phone models to allow a 2G network SIM slot to support 3G networks. 


Statement by Lenovo/Moto:

Lenovo did not offer any insight for their older handsets, but they did clarify about their recent smartphone models.

“With 3G/4G services becoming the norm of phone connectivity, Motorola’s recent local handsets such as Moto G4 Plus, Moto Z and Moto Z Play in Singapore recently are 4G/3G ready.” - Sridhar Ramaswamy, Director of Marketing, Lenovo Asia-Pacific.


Statement by Oppo:

Models that will get (a software) update for 3G network support in the second SIM slot:

  • F1s
  • R9
  • R9 plus

Models that are already in 4G/3G configuration:

  • R9s
  • R9s Plus

Oppo has a statement for users who are using the Oppo R9 Plus.

“We are pleased to announce that a new software is available for OPPO R9 Plus to support dual SIM functionality.  After the successful upgrade, your OPPO R9 Plus will allow dual SIM with 4G+3G compatibility. Below are the instructions on how to upgrade.” 



Statement by Samsung:

“Samsung does not carry 2G-only mobile devices in Singapore. Customers of selected Galaxy A Series and Galaxy J Series devices that support Dual SIM and with the secondary SIM slot supporting a 2G SIM can continue to use their devices in Singapore with a non-2G SIM in the primary SIM slot. They can use a 2G SIM in the secondary SIM slot when they are using the device in a country that supports 2G.” - Spokesperson for Samsung Mobile Singapore.

The 4G/3G dual-SIM support for Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones, as well as phones from the Galaxy A series (2017) have already been rolled out via a software update. The J7 Prime and J5 Prime models' 4G/3G dual-SIM support will be made available at the end of Q1 2017 via a software update.


Statement by Sony:

"With 4G/3G services becoming widely adopted in Singapore, our newest range of Sony Xperia smartphones coming to market will allow customers to enjoy 4G/3G connectivity,” - Vincent Yip, Director, Market Head for Singapore, Sony Mobile Communications


Statement by Xiaomi:

The following models previously/currently sold in Singapore support 4G + 3G on both slots:

  • Redmi Note 3
  • Redmi Note 4
  • Mi 5
  • Mi Max
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