Thousands of Australians may soon need to upgrade their SIMs or phones as telcos begin to permanently shut down their 2G networks. Are you one of those who will be affected?

We’ve come a long way since the release of the first, brick-like mobile phone in the ‘70s. And much like how phones have physically changed, the networks that support these newer phones have transformed, too.

Back in the ‘90s, it was the decade of 2G: The network that paved the way for text messaging, international roaming, and mobile internet. It was also the era when Nokia reigned supreme, with its 2000 and 3000 range a favourite among mobile phone users because people could make calls, send and receive text messages, and play the much-loved Snake game.

But with the emergence of smartphones, apps, and other connected devices such as tablets, our appetite for internet access and data usage has grown so much that when we use our phones the way we want to, like when Skyping with or streaming a video, we’re demanding greater speed, less latency, and improved call quality. In order to meet those criteria, telcos have introduced 3G and 4G services, while progressively dissolving their 2G networks.

Australia will say a final goodbye to 2G when Vodafone shuts down the country’s last service on 30 June 2018.

What does the 2G shutdown mean for me?

If you’re a Vodafone customer and still using a 2G device, you have until the 30 June 2018, to move across to 3G or 4G.

After 30 June 2018, you’ll no longer be able to make or receive calls, including emergency calls, send or receive text messages, or use data services.

How do I know if I’m using a 2G device?

If there’s always an “E”, “EDGE”, or “GPRS” symbol visible this may mean that you’re using a 2G SIM in a 3G or 4G device.

If you can’t see any of these symbols, you’re probably still using a 2G phone.

Do you know how to tell if you're still on 2G?

Do you know how to tell if you’re still on 2G?

Help! I’m going to be without coverage soon

If you’re still one of these people on 2G either with Vodafone or another provider, it might be time to switch.

The process is less difficult and costly than most people think – upgrading to a compatible handset such as the Alcatel onetouch 3G handset is only $29, while a Vodafone Smart mini 7 3G is $69, and a Samsung Galaxy J1 mini 4G is $99 (which includes Bonus $40 Starter Pack)

School for seniors

Vodafone is also hosting a series of in-store workshops to help seniors familiarise themselves with using their new 3G and 4G compatible phones including:

  • Setting up the basics such as font size, wallpaper, and voicemail
  • Ensuring you have all the tools you need to keep in touch with friends and family who live overseas
  • How to manage your mobile usage
  • How to back up your phone
  • Security tips and tricks.

Find out where your nearest in-store workshop is being hosted.

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Aimee Chanthadavong

Content Producer

Aimee Chanthadavong,
Content Producer

As Content Producer of RedWire, Aimee is a passionate storyteller about people, technology, and anything else that requires her to use a bit of journalistic detective work.