AT&T to shut down its 2G network by 2017
Even most of the low-end handsets on the market feature 3G connectivity these days, so 2G connectivity will soon become history. However, there are still many mobile users who have 2G-only handsets, especially in emerging markets. On the other hand, all major wireless carriers in the US have clear plans to pull the plug on their 2G networks in the next few years. AT&T already revealed its intention to do so, and they are moving on with the plan as scheduled.
According to AT&T CFO John Stevens, quoted by Wireless Week, the carrier "has already transitioned some six million customers in the last 12 months off the 2G base and is poised to decommission the legacy network by the end of 2016." Shutting down the 2G network would allow AT&T to save significant costs, thus being able to invest more in more recent technologies.
Back in early 2014, T-Mobile unveiled its plans to upgrade its 2G/EDGE GSM network, completing the deployment of 4G LTE on the 1.9 GHz spectrum last year. A recent report reveals that this move allowed T-Mobile to achieve "substantial speed gains." Verizon Wireless, on the other hand, confirmed its plans to drop both its 2G and 3G networks, but they expect to replace that spectrum with LTE by 2021.
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