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Singapore to leave 140,000 people without 2G connection

Staff Writer |
Singapore, which has one of the world’s highest rates of smartphone penetration, plans to turn off 2G in April in order to re-allocate scarce radio frequency spectrum and meet surging consumer demand for high-speed data.

When it does that, thousands of people could be stuck without a signal. From older people to cash-strapped migrant workers, some 140,000 people in highly-wired Singapore still use the city-state’s second generation (2G) network and cheap handsets.

Singapore recently banned the sale of 2G-only mobile phones and new prepaid SIM cards no longer work on 2G handsets.

But globally, 2G is not set to vanish, even as the number of smartphones is projected to soar from four billion last year to some six billion by 2020, according to IHS Markit data.

By 2021, 2G will still account for some 11 percent of total mobile subscriptions worldwide — mostly in Africa and Latin America, analyst Moon said.

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