2G shutdown: When and where is it happening

The second generation of mobile networks (2G) have been around for decades. The roll-out of these networks made mobile connectivity available for the masses. But since the first smartphones appeared, a lot has changed. Mobile networks need more bandwidth and lower latency to support 4G and coming soon 5G networks.

Even today, 2G connectivity is still a preferred type of connectivity for cellular IoT devices. Typical use cases need little bandwidth and most countries have at least one 2G network operational. 2G hardware sells at low prices, keeping IoT total costs of ownership low.

IoT use-cases generate little revenue because of low data usage. Therefore it’s becoming too costly for mobile network operators maintaining their 2G networks. The frequency spectrum used for 2G will give a better return on investment when used for 4G LTE networks. Besides, rising stars Narrow band-IoT and LTE-M have advantages over 2G networks (battery performance).

So the main driver for mobile network operators to decommissioning their 2G networks is making more revenue from their spectrum. That doesn’t mean 2G isn’t a great option for use-cases with years to come. You need to be aware on where and when the phase out is happening.

When and where is it happening?

We’ve made an overview with public information about the timelines of decommissioning 2G networks. Please keep in mind that this is ever changing and we can’t be certain about the correctness of the information.

Mobile Network Operator Country Continent Expected date
APTG Taiwan Asia 2020
Airtel India Asia 2019 (TBC)
Reliance India Asia Decommissioned
NTT DOCOMO Japan Asia Decommissioned
KDDI Japan Asia Decommissioned
Softbank Japan Asia Decommissioned
Hutchison Macau Asia Decommissioned
SmarTone Macau Asia Decommissioned
CTM, Hutchison, SmarTone* Macau Asia Decommissioned
M1 Singapore Asia Decommissioned
Singtel Singapore Asia Decommissioned
StarHub Singapore Asia Decommissioned
M1 Singapore Asia Decommissioned
SingTel, M1, StarHub Singapore Asia Decommissioned
KT Corp South Korea Asia Decommissioned
Chungwa, FET, Taiwan Mobile Taiwan Asia Decommissioned
FET Taiwan Asia Decommissioned
Taiwan Mobile Taiwan Asia Decommissioned
AIS Thailand Asia Decommissioned
CAT Telecom Thailand Asia Decommissioned
DTAC Thailand Asia Decommissioned
T-Mobile Netherlands Europe 31.12.2020
Swisscom Switzerland Europe 31.12.2020
Telenor Norway Europe 31.12.2025
Sunrise Switzerland Europe End of 2021
Verizon Wireless United States North America 12/31/19
T-Mobile United States North America 2020 (TBC)
Bell MTS Canada North America Decommissioned
Telus Canada North America Decommissioned
SaskTel Canada North America Decommissioned
AT&T United States North America Decommissioned
Telstra Australia Oceania Decommissioned
Optus Australia Oceania Decommissioned
Vodafone Australia Oceania Decommissioned
2degrees New Zealand Oceania Decommissioned
Spark New Zealand Oceania Decommissioned
CNT EP Ecuador South America Decommissioned
Bmobile Trinidad and Tobago South America Decommissioned
Roel van der Meer