2degrees to shut down ageing 3G mobile service
Telecommunications firm 2degrees is to shut down its ageing 3G mobile service over the next couple of years.
It is the last of the three main mobile providers to make the move as it concentrates on the established 4G service and frees up spectrum for the growing 5G networks.
Chief executive Mark Callander said 3G was about 14 years old and had outlived its purpose.
"3G has been a reliable technology, but its capability has long since been surpassed by the latest generations, so the time has come to begin to shut down the service."
The move was happening around the world as telcos concentrated on beefing up their 5G offerings, but ,in the meantime, the company would expand 4G to areas which only had the lesser service, Callander said.
Spark had said it would also close its 3G mobile network in 2025, and One NZ was set to shut it down in August next year.
However, the closing of the 3G service will mean consumers using old phones will eventually have to replace them.
"Most consumers and businesses won't have an issue - with incompatible handsets not having been available for some time," Callander said.
Customers still using 3G devices or handsets which would not work on its newer networks would be contacted, he said.
"Some older 4G handsets drop back to 3G for calling and these devices will also need to be replaced over the next two and a half years."
Other customers might have 4G capability on their phone but need to enable it in their settings, he said.