SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Korea Bizwire) — LG Uplus Corp., a major South Korean telecom operator, said Friday it will phase out its 2G services by the end of June, a move that would mark the complete termination of the country’s aging network.
The carrier said it has applied to end its 2G operations with the government and will decide on a specific time frame for the service’s termination.
The move comes after SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s largest wireless provider, ended its 2G services in July last year, while rival KT Corp. shut down 2G operations back in 2012.
LG Uplus said the looming termination comes as the network has fallen out of favor over the years amid launches of new networks, including 5G.
Aging telecommunications equipment and lack of devices that support 2G have led to dwindling subscribers.
The carrier’s 2G users stood at 374,000 as of end-November last year, accounting for just 2.5 percent of the carrier’s total 14.8 million subscriptions, according to ICT ministry data.
With the shut down of 2G, LG Uplus said it would focus on improving its 5G services, which have 2.5 million subscribers.
South Korea first launched 2G mobile services in 1996 based on the world’s first commercial code division multiple access network built by SK Telecom, facilitating the country’s advance in the telecom segment.