Airtel Lanka will commence the shuttering of its 3G network next month after receiving clearance from the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL).
The operator has requested permission to shut down its 3G network in order to free up spectrum for its 4G operations. TRCSL has granted Airtel Lanka 15 months to complete the action, cautioning that the operator must “absorb at least 90% of its 3G subscriber base into their 4G network during the transition phase.”
From 26th June 2022, any Airtel subscribers using 3G-enabled devices will be automatically disconnected from the network. Prior to this deadline, Airtel is obliged to raise awareness of the 3G shutdown via publicity campaigns encouraging users to move to its 4G network. To facilitate the changeover, Airtel must also take steps to make 4G handsets available to its current 3G customers, including via promotions and subsidised devices that can be paid for in instalments.
The regulator has ordered Airtel to notify its subscribers via SMS that they must switch to a 4G handset ahead of the deadline. Customers using 3G and 2G devices can receive concessionary 4G connectivity from Airtel until 1st June 2022.