Taiwan to switch off 3G networks at year end

Taiwan’s telecoms regulator has revealed that the nation’s 6.4 million 3G users will need to migrate to a 4G network by the end of the year, when operators’ 3G licenses are due to expire.

The 3G licenses are scheduled to expire on December 31 and services will terminate in 2019, as reported.

Four operators are still offering 3G services – Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone Telecommunications and Taiwan Star. Asia Pacific Telecom switched off its 3G service in 2017.

According to the report, officials expect the 3G switch-off to be smoother than last year’s 2G service termination, as operators have retained ownership of their 2,100-MHz spectrum holdings and will be able to use these frequencies to serve their 3G users.

Operators are also expected to continue to use circuit-switched fallback technology to offer voice over 3G.

But the nation’s 6.4 million 3G customers may need to switch to a 4G SIM and a new 4G plan in order to continue using services. This represents around a fifth of the market’s mobile customers and compares to roughly 22 million 4G users.

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