Vietnam's Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has officially revealed plans to fully switch off 2G services in the country by September 2026.

The MIC outlined its roadmap, which includes a full shutdown of 2G services on land from September 16, 2024.

According to the MIC, 2G services will continue to be provided in the Trường Sa (Spratly) and Hoàng Sa (Paracel) archipelagos until September 15, 2026.

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GettyImages-1324017792 Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam.jpg
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Telcos in the country have been urged to encourage subscribers to ditch 2G handsets for 4G or 5G handsets instead.

Vietnam Telecommunications Authority (VNTA) said that the 900/1800MHZ band will no longer be used for the 2G, and will be repurposed for the country's 4G and 5G networks.

Last year, MIC set out plans to start its 2G shutdown in December, ahead of a full switch-off this year.

Vietnam's 2G mobile network has been in operation since 1993, and although the number of people using the network has dropped, Vietnam's MIC estimated last year that it expected about six million, or less than five percent of the total, to still use the network by the end of last year.

Even now, it's estimated that 16 percent of Viettel's total subscribers are still on 2G, while another telco, Vinaphone, has around eight percent on 2G.

Plans to switch off its 2G network are a common theme across the world, with many mobile network operators retiring the legacy technology.

In the UK, all four mobile operators have agreed to switch off 2G services by 2033, while in France Bouygues Telecom will decommission its 2G network by the end of 2026.

However, it's still some distance behind other nations, with Japanese network operators notably calling time on their 2G services back in 2011.