3G services will end in Taiwan by the end of the year, when operators' 3G licenses are due to expire, the Taipei Times reported. The island nation has 6.4 million 3G users who will need to migrate to 4G, as 3G licenses are scheduled to expire on December 31 and services will end in 2019.
Taiwanese telecom operator Asia Pacific Telecom was the first to switch off its 3G services in 2017. The country's four other telecom operators – Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone Telecommunications, and Taiwan Star – will all have to end 3G services by the end of the year.
The Taipei Times report said switching of 3G services will be a lot smoother than when 2G was switched off last year, as operators have retained ownership of their 2,100-Mhz spectrum holdings and will be able to use these frequencies to serve their 3G users. The report also notes that operators are expected to continue to use circuit-switched fallback technology to offer voice over 3G.
But to continue using services, Taiwan's 6.4 million 3G users will need to switch to a 4G SIM and a new 4G plan. The end of 3G represents around a fifth of the Taiwan mobile market and compares to around 22 million 4G users.