South Africa’s telecommunications major Telkom has termed the government’s proposed move to switch off 3G wireless technology by March 30, 2025, as “unrealistic”, according to a local media report.  

The government recently published the country’s draft new broadband spectrum policy, including plans to shut down the 2G network on June 30, 2024.

“We still carry a significant amount of voice on the 3G network, and don’t believe the 2025 deadline is realistic,” fin24 news portal reported, citing Telkom. 

Telkom carries less than 1% of data traffic on its 2G network, but a “sizeable” of its clients still use 3G.

Telecom operator Vodacom said that switching off 2G and 3G networks will require a multi-stakeholder approach, as it seeks to discuss the issue with the government and analyse the feasibility of the proposed timelines.

Another mobile operator MTN Group has previously indicated plans to deactivate 3G in 2025/26, the report said.  

The move to shut down 2G and 3G is aimed to encourage the deployment of 5G and future technologies, said Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.

(Editing by Seban Scaria )