Venezuela is set to hold a 5G tender next year, as the country's National Telecommunications Commission (Comision Nacional de Telecomunicaciones, Conatel) confirmed plans to phase out 2G connectivity by the end of 2025.

The country published its ‘Plan Nacional de Telecomunicaciones 2023-2025’, detailing its outlook for the mobile industry in the coming years.

Feature: What the 2G and 3G shutoff means for 5G

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At present, only state-backed Movilnet operates a 2G network in Venezuela, with Movistar switching off its service in July 2022. Digitel shut down its 2G service in May 2021.

The phase-out of 2G will see 2,100 new 4G cell sites deployed by 2025 to support increased demand for faster download speeds, providing LTE services to 90 percent of the population.

Venezuelan regulator Conatel expects a 5G pilot project to take place before the end of 2023, with a public 5G tender to take place at some point next year. The regulator anticipates hitting 1.8 million Fiber-to-the-Home subscriptions by the end of 2025.

A number of operators across the world have been phasing out legacy services such as 2G and 3G, to enhance 4G and 5G services.

Another South American operator, Tigo Colombia, switched off its 2G service in November, while in the US, T-Mobile announced plans to shut down 2G by April 2024.

French operator Bouygues Telecom said it will decommission its 2G network by the end of 2026.