Optus warns of 3G 2100MHz shutdown coming next April

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Optus warns of 3G 2100MHz shutdown coming next April

Optus has stated it will change from dual-band 3G in 900MHz and 2100MHz into one group at 900MHz.

Singaporean-owned Australian telco Optus has stated it’ll be shifting its 2100MHz band for 3G services in April 2022, together with all the range reallocated for the LTE network.

As a result, the telco is cautious that rather than owning a dual-band 3G network with both 900MHz and 2100MHz range, it’ll after next April just be relying upon a single group at 900MHz. This may employ by Optus customers and merchants who resell its community.

“Clients with a 2100MHz-only 3G apparatus will have to update their apparatus to possess 4G LTE capacity to get the Optus system, which will offer them a better client experience compared to the 2100Mhz 3G system,” the firm said.

Optus said it might reach out to clients affected by the shift within the forthcoming months, such as those who have “old SIM cards.”

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) stated in advice before this week that an important contest concern was the absence of spectrum below 1GHz held by Optus, in comparison to Telstra along with TPG, when the 850/900MHz ring is cleared outside for an approaching spectrum auction after this season.

“Optus’ capability to compete efficiently in the cellular services marketplace will probably be restricted if it doesn’t obtain more sub-1GHz ring spectrum at the 850/900MHz allocation,” that the watchdog wrote.

“Specifically, there’s a threat that Optus might not have the ability to roll out 5G technologies broadly and economically in Australia at the lack of sub-1GHz spectrum.”

As it now stands, the ACCC stated that Telstra holds 46 percent of the sub-1GHz spectrum in metro regions and 54 percent in regional locations. TPG has 38 percent in metro regions and 31 percent in Optus, asserting just 15 percent in regional and metro locations.

“The ACCC believes that the asymmetry of both sub-1GHz spectrum holdings involving the MNOs [cellular network operators] will be very likely to have a substantial impact on Optus’ capacity to compete with other MNOs from the phone services marketplace,” it stated.

“In the brief term, Optus and TPG might require extra sub-1GHz ring spectrum should they want to continue to run their own 3G networks. But at the medium to long duration, Optus is the sole MNO that doesn’t currently have some sub-1GHz ring spectrum which it might feasibly use to set up 5G services.”

Regardless of the ACCC not advocating for almost any spectrum to be earmarked for any telco, preferring a sub-1GHz limitation be imposed to stop Telstra scooping up an excessive amount of spectrum, the section accountable to the prior Optus executive cum Communications Minister Paul Fletcher chose to place 10Mhz aside for the two TPG and Optus at the upper four tons available, in which the telcos now operate under device licenses.