Australia’s largest mobile operator Telstra closed its 2G network at the beginning of December after more than 23 years.

Mike Wright, Telstra’s managing director of networks, said in an online post celebrating the pioneers of the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) technology that Telstra was the first operator outside of Europe to launch a GSM network in 1993.

Wright said about 87 billion calls were made on its 2G network, which had less than 90,000 customers or about 1 per cent of its total at the end of September. Ten years ago it had 7.7 million 2G users, but the numbers were falling as 3G customers surpassed the one million mark in Q4 2006.

Today its 4G subscribers account for 66 per cent of mobile connections and 3G users represent 33 per cent. The operator, which has a 52 per cent market share, had 10.6 million total mobile connections in Q3, according to GSMA Intelligence.