It’s not uncommon for companies to attempt to stretch the truth when it comes to advertising. Skinny have taken this to a whole new level with a bus stop advertising billboard saying that Vodafone’s 2G network is shutting down – with the minor problem being Vodafone’s 2G GSM network is not being shut down until 2025. I stand to be corrected, but right now I’m pretty sure it’s only 2016. Warning people of something that’s happening in 9 years seems a little bit over the top to me.
In March this year Vodafone New Zealand publically announced the 2025 shutdown of it’s 2G GSM network. Along with phone calls and text messages this network carries traffic for over 1 million machine to machine (M2M) devices such as smart electricity meters that use the GPRS data network. Upgrading large numbers of devices to newer hardware that supports newer 3G and 4G networks takes time, hence the long timeframe.
Vodafone announced at the same time that at some point in the future (prior to 2025) that voice and SMS services on the 2G GSM network would be disabled, however they would still be maintaining the GPRS data functionality on the 2G GSM network for M2M devices. When this occurs any users of 2G/GSM only phones would find their phone would stop functioning.
The vast majority of Vodafone customers have 3G or 4G capable handsets, and it would be pretty rare to have purchased a new handset within the last 3 or 4 years that only supported GSM technology. Vodafone have not sold any GSM only phones for some time now, and even cheap $20 prepay phones support 3G technology.
Vodafone have not officially announced any date for this to occur, but speculation I’ve heard is that this *may* occur in 2018 or 2019. It is certainly not happening this month, or even this year.
Skinny are clearly misleading the public with this campaign and need to be called out for spreading what can only be deemed as misleading FUD. One can only wonder why somebody thought this campaign was a smart idea..
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