SoftBank Corp postponed a 3G shutdown because some customers affected by an earthquake on Noto Peninsula are facing difficulty switching to 4G or 5G services.

The operator deferred the closure from 31 January to 15 April.

SoftBank stated it will provide updates on any extension to the discontinuation date for customers in disaster-affected areas.

A magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck northwest of Suzu on the Noto Peninsula of Ishikawa prefecture on 1 January.

KDDI today (17 January) stated communication services are unavailable or difficult to use in some areas affected by the earthquake.

It said emergency restoration was achieved by bringing in vehicle-mounted portable base stations and installing antennas using satellite broadband at base stations in all except difficult-to-reach areas.

KDDI closed its 3G network in 2022 and NTT Docomo is targeting early 2026.

GSMA Intelligence data showed Docomo ended 2023 with 3.1 million 3G connections and SoftBank 442,600.