Hong Kong-based SmarTone received regulatory approval to shut down its 2G network in October as users migrate off its legacy infrastructure to 5G services, with less than 0.1 per cent on its oldest network at end-April.

The Communications Authority gave SmarTone the green light to terminate 2G service last week, with the operator revealing plans to reallocate spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands for 4G and 5G.

Its 5G subscribers accounted for nearly a fifth of SmarTone’s user base at end-June, while LTE customers represented 70.3 per cent. Its 3G subscriber base fell 20.2 per cent year-on-year to 315,500, 11.5 per cent of the total.

LTE subscribers declined 6.3 per cent to 1.9 million.

The number of 5G subscribers in Hong Kong topped 3G in August 2021 and by end-April stood at 3.5 million.

Rival Hutchison Telephone dropped 2G service in September 2021.