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|
|CTM, Hutchison, SmarTone*||Macau||Asia||Decommissioned|
|SingTel, M1, StarHub||Singapore||Asia||Decommissioned|
|KT Corp||South Korea||Asia||Decommissioned|
|Chungwa, FET, Taiwan Mobile||Taiwan||Asia||Decommissioned|
|Verizon Wireless||United States||North America||12/31/19|
|T-Mobile||United States||North America||2020 (TBC)|
|Bell MTS||Canada||North America||Decommissioned|
|AT&T||United States||North America||Decommissioned|
|CNT EP||Ecuador||South America||Decommissioned|
|Bmobile||Trinidad and Tobago||South America||Decommissioned|