For the latest information about the 2G Network Closure check out our 2G Network Closure Update article in the Blog.
When Optus closes the 2G GSM network in April 2017, to continue to enjoy the Optus mobile network, 2G customers should upgrade to newer 3G or 4G devices and plans.
The Optus mobile network is always evolving, changing and growing. To make way for newer technologies such as our 4G Plus Network, we eventually need to close down older network technologies like 2G. That means we’re able to focus and invest in technology that offers better services for our customers now and into the future. We’re seeing the same thing happen around the world too.
Also, with the increased demand for smartphones, the number of people using our 2G mobile network continues to decline, meaning today there’s only a small portion of customers left using 2G services. To give you a better idea, we haven’t had any 2G-only phones available to buy in our retail stores for some years.
From 1 April, 2017, you’ll need to upgrade to a 3G or 4G device, or a compatible 3G or 4G SIM to continue using Optus mobile services on the Optus mobile network.
WHAT IS THE 2G NETWORK?
Our 2G GSM Network is a legacy network technology that lets customers make calls and send texts, with basic internet connectivity too.
We first launched 2G in 1993, and since then we’ve evolved our network to include newer and faster technologies such as 3G and 4G all of which let you browse the web, download files, stream video streaming and lots more.
WHAT FREQUENCIES DOES THE OPTUS 2G NETWORK USE?
The Optus 2G network currently uses 900 MHz spectrum.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M USING A 2G ONLY DEVICE?
If you have a 2G only device or 2G SIM card, you’ll only ever notice one of these symbols: 2G, Edge, E or GPRS in the top right hand corner of your phone’s screen (next to the signal strength bars) when it’s switched on.
2G only phones are usually older phones that are typically best for talking and texting only. Also, older models only feature basic text screens – and that means you may not even see a 2G icon on your phone.
If you see any of these icons: 3G, H+, 4G or LTE on your phone’s screen, then it means your phone is compatible with our newer network technologies.
You can also visit our coverage maps. Then click on the ‘non Optus device’ option and enter your phone’s IMEI number to check if 2G, 3G or 4G coverage is available with your device.To find your IMEI NUMBER, type *#06# into your phone keypad.
ARE ALL 2G PHONES AFFECTED?
Yes, any device that is 2G only or uses a 2G SIM will be affected by this change. This includes mobile phones, or business devices that use 2G machine to machine (M2M) technology.
WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS ONCE THE 2G NETWORK IS CLOSED?
To continue using the Optus mobile network you’ll need to upgrade to a 3G or 4G handset. That means you’ll then be able to use our 3G and 4G Plus networks in 3G and 4G Plus areas. If you already have a 3G or 4G handset but are using an old 2G SIM, you will need to upgrade your SIM card.
If this network closure affects you we’ll be providing more details about options closer to the closure date.
To get a new 3G or 4G mobile phone (and compatible plan) to use on the Optus mobile network from 1 April 2017, you can upgrade via one of the links below.
WHAT BENEFITS WILL I GET AFTER UPGRADING?
Of course, you’ll still be able to make and receive calls. But it’s data where you’ll enjoy a much better experience too. Here’s how:
3G and 4G are the latest generation of mobile network technologies. 3G is a leap from 2G by enabling fast web browsing, while 4G is a leap above again from 3G by providing high-speed mobile internet. With the latest 4G devices, you can enjoy superfast web browsing, uploads and downloads, and better video streaming. Our 4G Plus network will evolve to support voice in the future.
Right now, 4G is for data only so you'll still use the 3G network for making calls. Our 3G network has been upgraded to HD voice, which delivers sharper, clearer call quality. Customers making Optus to Optus calls, using a compatible HD device will experience improved voice calls.
Of course, if all you want is a simple phone to just make and receive phone calls, then we can also help you with that.
Need help? Ask the community
Corporate, Enterprise and Government customer’s contact us here
If Optus is replacing their 2G I can gather that they put newer technology in its place... so I don't believe that this will affect coverage for anyone except those who can't use 3&4G. I still use the Edge network, but only when my phone battery is low, because it saves a ton of battery. The best way to test wether you can get 3G where you are is to see what your phone is using now, if you have an iPhone it will say 3G or 4G, Android will say 3G, H or 4G. Some also say LTE which is pretty much the same thing as 4G. If your phone is using 3G or 4G in your area, should be no probs, because modern phones automatically switch to the best network available. Hope this answers your question,
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The views expressed in the post above do not necessarily reflect the views of Singtel Optus Pty Ltd., but the views of me personally.
Hi Nibbles, that's a good question! There will be areas where users can only get 2G coverage - you can go on to the following link and check the 3G coverage, there isn't one for 2G coverage however majority of Australia has 3G coverage. For more details on specific locations particularly with rural areas where there may be little 3G coverage please go on to Webchat or call our support team for assistance.
My phone is currently off the Optus network as my local tower is being upgraded. I am still using my original "Yes Sim 5" post paid plan and sim. Just checking if this sim card is 3G compatible? I suspect it is as I think I've used 3G networks when travelling. My device is 3G compatible.
Hi @Carol_AF, depends on your rate plan but normally if the handset is compatible with 3G there should be no reasons why you shouldn't connect unless you purchased an overseas handset model which in some cases does not use the same frequency as the one Optus use. I could double check your post paid plan, just shoot me a direct message with your number and i'll have a look 🙂
> There will be areas where users can only get 2G coverage
I work in such an area, but it's not a backwater. It's in Sydney CBD, at 259 George Street, close to corner of Bridge street. This is as central as it gets. Within the office tower, only 2G gets through (could be the metalic coating in the glass). In order to save battery during the working day, I always put my phone in 2G-only mode ( It's a Note 3 with 4G+ halfway through an Optus contract. ). This way, the phone doesn't waste battery chasing elusive signals, and stays solidly on a strong 2G. I don't care about the data, since we got WiFi in the office.
When I'm at my desk, I just want to be reachable by voice and SMS on my mobile number. I wonder how buildings like this will get covered, when 2G is switched off. As it stands now, neither 3G nor 4G gets through anywhere in the building (except the ground floor). There would be other similar buildings, each holding about 3000 office workers. It is safe to say there are 1000 Optus mobiles in our building, searching for a signal.
I wonder what makes the 2G signal get through the glass, whereas the others don't. Whatever that might be, is there a way to make it work with 3G , 4G or 4G+ frequences ?
I believe the reason for the decomissioning of the 2G network (apart from it being a dated technology now although I know some still need to use it) is that they'll re-use the frequencies for 4G (and maybe 3G) so whilst it might not be an instantenous switch over, I reckon you'll get coverage back.
As a side note, you mentioned having WiFi in the office. It's not ideal but they now have an app for poor coverage areas that will allow you to receive and make calls/SMS through a Wifi signal. Might pay to check it out - https://community.optus.com.au/t5/Wi-Fi-Talk-Home-Zone/What-is-WiFi-Talk-and-How-to-use-the-App/m-p/...
the WiFi-Talk app seems to do the trick. It does have its amateurish sides, but hey, ... considering the cost -:)
Anyway, April 2017 is a fair distance away. It's reassuring I can fall back to this app, if nothing else works.
my son has a 2G watch with GPS on it. We live in Perth, WA - can we still access the 2G network here until April 2017? If we can how do we set it up, or should it be automatic? we have a $1 a day sim card at te moment.