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PLDT plans to shutdown its 3G network by 2023

Telco giant, PLDT, Inc. said in a press briefing that the company is planning to end its third-generation (3G) network services by the year 2023.

“We want to maximize our frequencies with other technologies that we use,” said PLDT Network head Mario Tamayo.

The shutdown of 3G is considered to be an opportunity ‘to optimize our network’ according to PLDT chief finance officer Annabelle Chua, citing an information that there is now only less than 5% of devices are using 3G network.

PLDT-Smart president and CEO Alfredo Panlilio also added an information that only 4% of their subscribers were on 3G network, and that the market is ‘ready’ for its shutdown.

While it is an ‘easier’ shift from 3G to 4G, Panlilio said that the bigger challenge will be bringing 2G users to 4G.


The consequence: What would happen if 3G network shut down

Shutting down older network technologies that aren’t used that much make sense.

Its maintenance cost money. According to Ian Fogg, vice president of analysis at mobile analytics firm Opensignal, network carriers “would like to get rid of old legacy tech is to free up that wireless spectrum.”

Switching off older masts in most countries allow more space for newer technology networks like 4G/ 5G, and some 3G spectrum can also be used for 4G data.

Older devices such as feature phones or ‘dumbphones’ as well as older smartphones that rely on 3G service may lose its network access, meaning you might not be able to make phone calls or send text messages, and mobile data connection (via HSPA or HSPA+) will not work. There are also alarm systems, auto-navigation systems for cars that may also lose service.

Although through 2G network, these phones may still be able to do those tasks mentioned, but at a slower pace (mobile date via GPRS or EDGE). And internet connection via WiFi network is still possible for those older smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy S4 — the last Samsung flagship that had 3G access (released in 2013)

Devices that older than the iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S5 for example would be less capable, once the 3G shutdown is implemented.

Major telco players in the United States have already shutdown their 3G networks as early as January 1st this year, and it’s expected for Philippine telco companies to follow suit.

Source (1 ) (2) (3)


ADDENDUM: Elaborated on existing 2G network.

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Avatar for JM Chavaria

JM's highest stat is probably his curious ardor to anything tech—electronics and gaming in particular. He certainly heeds utmost regard to specsheet, visuals, and rule of thirds. If creativity and wit sometimes leave JM's system, watching films, anime and a good stroll for memes are his approved therapeutic claims.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar for Bob Dog Bob Dog says:

    Shutting down 2G and 3G isn’t about “optimizing” or “service costs”. It’s about forcing people to buy new 4G phones and make money from sales.

    • Avatar for Rexcel Oclarit Rexcel Oclarit says:

      Totoo naman para yung frequency na ginamit sa 3G na migrate na siya to 4G or even in 5G. Aanohin naman rin ni smart kung mag operate pa rin sila ng 3G pero yung mga bagong phones is wala nang 3G support edi useless pa rin it’s not about sale kasi to it’s all about upgrade wag mong sabihin na kahit 10G na may 3G pa rin kasi kung tatanggalin ang 3G sasabihin mo naman na forcing people to buy 4G phones blah blah blah. Magastos na sa side ng telco pag gamon dahil sa maintenance cost para lang sa pagpatakbo ng 3G kahit wala na masyadong gumagamit ng 3G.

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