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South Africa announces deadlines for shutting down 2G and 3G networks

    The South African government plans to eliminate all existing 2G and 3G networks in the country by 2025. This means that many people will have to upgrade their smartphones to support 4G and 5G connectivity.

    South Africa’s Department of Communications and Digital Technology (DCDT) has unveiled its plan to shut down legacy networks as part of a draft government program to use the radio spectrum for next-generation networks.

    The Cabinet approved the plan, allowing DCDT to release it for public comment.

    “Radio spectrum is a limited natural resource vital to the growth of South Africa’s digital economy and communications infrastructure,” the Cabinet said in a statement. “The proposed draft state program provides support for the principles of spectrum allocation and licensing for the needs of fixed mobile communications, broadcasting, aviation and maritime sectors, research and development, community access and other industries.”

    The draft state program defines the deadlines for certain services and works:

    • June 30, 2023 – ban on licensing of 2G devices.
    • December 31, 2023 – No new connections or activation of 2G devices.
    • March 31, 2024 – Termination of 2G services and prohibition of licensing of 3G devices.
    • June 30, 2024 – shutdown of 2G networks.
    • September 30, 2024 – prohibition of new connections or activation of 3G devices.
    • December 31, 2024 – Termination of 3G services .
    • March 30, 2025 – shutdown of 3G networks.