Vietnam starts blocking 2G-only phones ahead of 2G shutdown

Vietnam starts blocking 2G-only phones ahead of 2G shutdown

Vietnam will reportedly begin blocking signals for 2G-only mobile phones next month as part of its broader plan to fully phase out 2G service later this year.

According to VNA, the Vietnam Telecommunications Authority (VTA) has instructed all mobile operators to stop accepting subscribers with mobile phones that only support 2G technology unless they are on the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) list of conformity certification.

The VTA advised users to contact their mobile service providers for more information and instructions. They can also contact the Telecommunication Quality Metrology Centre for a list of 2G phone models that remain cleared for use by the MIC. The list is posted on the TQC website.

The MIC announced in December that it intends to switch off 2G by September 2024, which is when the current 2G spectrum licences for telcos expire. It had originally intended to shut off 2G by the end of 2023.

VTA deputy director Nguyen Phong Nha told VNA that the ministry wants to clear off 2G as part of its preparations to launch 6G by 2030. The MIC is also planning to auction 5G spectrum sometime this year.

The MIC has prohibited the import of 2G devices since 2020, although such devices are still being imported via the grey market. There are still around 15 million 2G subscribers in Vietnam, the report said.

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