Bye-Bye 2G, It’s Been Swell

February 19, 2018
1 min read

The end is nigh for 2G mobile phones. PAT PILCHER riffs on their imminent demise.


Like me, you probably have a bunch of old GSM phones or gadgets that use 2G. If you do, now might the time to look at upgrading as the last functioning 2G GSM network in NZ is soon to be switched off by 2Degrees.

It turns out that you’ll only have until March 15 before 2G devices become paperweights with batteries, as that’s the date when 2Degrees will switch off its 2G network for good.

The impact on me will be significant. I have two GPS tracking collars for my greyhounds which gives me assurance that should they ever decide to bolt and head for the hills, I’ll be able to locate them. These will need to be upgraded, as they’ll be about as useful as a cat door on a nuclear submarine once 2Degrees switches off its 2G network.

2Degrees say that they’ve already seen a good chunk of their customers migrate to 3G or 4G devices, but some have yet to make the leap. Sadly, I don’t think they sell 3G or 4G capable GPS dog collars.

Collars aside, there’s a tonne of good reasons to upgrade. Aside from the obvious data speed and usability issues, 3G and 4G phones tend to have better battery life than older GSM phones as they have a dormant data mode. None of this has escaped 2Degrees, which stopped selling 2G mobile phones in 2015.

It also turns out that if you’re one of the few who still has a 2degrees 2G device, there’s a good chance that 2Degree may have already been in touch as they’re operating a customer contact programme to help the few customers with 2G gear migrate.

Don’t bin your old pork bone either – they don’t need to become toxic e-waste, 2Degrees is operating phone-recycling programmes.

RIP 2G, I’m glad you’re going, going… gone! Bring on 5G! Now to find some new GPS tracking collars.


Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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