Telstra first announced their plan to phase out the 2G network in Australia through Telstra News (read at http://exchange.telstra.com.au/2014/07/23/its-time-to-say-goodbye-old-friend/).
According to the news, Telstra plans to phase out all 2G network by end of 2016.
What is Telstra's exact plan for the phase out?
At this time, we do not know of Telstra's exact phase out plan. Telstra mentioned that they will be switching off areas progressively.
Looking back to 2006 when the Telstra 3G 850 MHz Next G network was launched, it was made quite clear Telstra did not intend to operate multiple networks into the future and the 2G network would eventually be phased out.
Telstra is one of the few Telcos in the world leading the charge forward with focus on newer, better cellular technology.
What about areas with only 2G coverage?
Telstra confirmed that all areas of Australia that are covered by the 2G network are already fully covered by Telstra 3G service, which also extends well beyond the 2G coverage footprint. The only exception is Christmas Island and it will be excluded from this programmed closure.
In terms of coverage, all 3GPP modules suitable for M2M also support 2G, as is needed for maximum coverage. So the choice is really between (GPRS/EDGE) 2G-only and 3G-2G (HSPA/UMTS, GPRS/EDGE) coverage. In the USA today, the latter coverage is already a superior experience and will become moreso over time. Similar trends are reported in Australia and Latin America, and as Telstra repurposes the 2G spectrum in Australia, we can only expect the 3G coverage to improve.
What is 3G?
3G stands for "third generation", as it is the third type of access technology that has been made widely commercially available for connecting mobile phones. The 3G standard uses a technology called UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) as its core network architecture. It first saw the light of day in 2001. This network combines aspects of the 2G network with some new technologies and protocols to deliver a significantly faster data rate.
3G data transfer speeds are 384Kbps to 2 Megabits (Mbps). There’s another brand of 3G called HPSA, that’s sometimes dubbed 3.5G, which boasts potential speeds of between 600Kbps and a whopping 10Mbps, although the average is 1-3Mbps.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3G for more information.
What options do we have with our current 2G Outpost loggers?
We have various options available for you including discounted upgrades to move your 2G Outpost fleet over to 3G.
All our 3G products work well with Telstra 850 MHz Next G network. Talk to us and we'll work with you to upgrade your fleet.
What are the benefits of Outpost products on 3G vs 2G?
The 3G network is designed for more efficient data transfers with a higher data transfer speed. This results in Outpost 3G products with an improved successful connection rates as compared to Outpost 2G products.
This means that our customers get the benefits of improved connectivity and performance than their previous Outpost 2G products.
Can I opt to stay on 2G with other cellular providers in Australia?
Outpost can still support operation on 2G networks and can supply SIMs for any Australian network. However, we believe other carriers will also move towards turning off their 2G networks and we recommend the use of 3G for all new hardware used in Australia.