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Singapore to cease 2G services by April 2017

Singaporean telcos have agreed to cease 2G services in Singapore, shifting customers over to the more advanced 3G and 4G services.

As of April 2017, 2G voice, messaging, and data services will be terminated in Singapore. The country's three major telecommunications players, M1, Singtel, and StarHub, will cease the provision of 2G services, swapping customers over to faster 3G and 4G services.

The announcement came on Monday in a joint statement released by the three telcos, stating the evolution of mobile networks as the reason for terminating the service, and claiming that the country's 3G and 4G networks have increasingly become the preferred communication method for consumers due to the country's high smartphone usage rates.

The joint statement said that mobile operators for the respective three telcos have been conducting outreach programs to encourage customers to migrate to newer networks over the past few years.

"Today, the majority of mobile customers are on 3G and 4G networks; only an extremely small percentage of customers remain on 2G-only mobile devices," it said.

Singapore has one of the highest rates of mobile and internet penetration in the world.

Locally, Telstra is expecting to shut down the 2G frequency in Australia by the end of 2016, citing similar reasons.

Optus, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore's Singtel, said it had yet to make a decision about closing its 2G network.