AT&T to shut down its 2G network by the end of 2016
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Two years ago, AT&T announced the shutdown of its 2G network by the end of 2016. Now AT&T's executive director of M2M product management, Mobeen Khan, says the company "is meeting its migration targets as it works to move those 2G customers onto AT&T's 3G and 4G networks."
According to AT&T's own stats mentioned by Khan, there are about 17 million M2M customers on all the carrier's networks and "a large number of those are on 2G." M2M customers keep their phones for up to a decade and sometimes even more, so AT&T faces a real challenge but is not the first company to go through this.
Last year, Sprint closed its 800 MHz iDEN network and worked hard to keep its old iDEN customers around. In the end, about 60 percent of the departing customers decided to stay. Since AT&T currently operates a GSM-based network which offers excellent compatibility with 2G networks across the world, keeping an important number of the existing M2M customers will be a real challenge.
Remains to see how will they manage the situation, but unfortunately we may wait for this about two years - if everything goes according to plan.
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