Optus will be undergoing a refresh of its network technology late April 2022, dropping 3G from the 2100MHz spectrum to meet changing consumer and business needs.
Some of the spectrum assets that are currently used to support 3G technology will be reallocated for 4G and 5G.
After April 2022, Optus will no longer offer a dual-band 3G network, instead offering 3G services via its 900MHz spectrum band only.
Any customers who still rely on a 2100MHz-only 3G device will need to invest in an upgrade to at least 4G LTE capability to access the Optus network.
Optus Wholesale service provider customers using the 2100MHz network will also be affected.
“In the last 12 months we have really seen our customers embrace 5G technology with take up of 5G enabled devices growing significantly. It’s important that our spectrum assets are working well for customers, enabling them to truly benefit from innovative and emerging technologies on our world class networks as they move to new and more advanced 4G and 5G devices,” said Optus networks managing director Lambo Kanagaratnam.
“We know that our customers are using more data than ever. They’re downloading, sharing and streaming content, using apps and connecting with friends and colleagues virtually. In order to support this thirst for connectivity, it’s vital that we evolve our network and redeploying our 2100MHz spectrum assets to better accommodate next generation technologies is an important step in achieving this.”
Optus said it will be reaching out to customers who are impacted by the change over the coming months, including those that may have “very old” SIM cards.
“Importantly we are providing 12 months’ notice to ensure affected customers are aware of our plans and have sufficient time to upgrade to newer devices that can support 4G or 5G,” added Kanagaratnam.
Competitor telco Telstra also announced recently that it is repurposing part of its 850MHz spectrum, currently used for its 3G network, to use for 5G services as 3G traffic declines.