AT&T customers who still own 2G phones will be looking to upgrade their devices, with the company having announced the discontinuation of its 2G wireless network. The plan to axe what can now officially be considered a defunct wireless technology was put into motion four years ago and completed on the 1st of January 2017. That’s one New Year’s resolution AT&T can mark off its list.
With the final nail having been driven in the 2G coffin right at the beginning of the new year, yesterday’s announcement comes as an explanation of the thought behind the decision.
The move, according to a post on the official AT&T Innovation Blog, is part of the telco’s ongoing effort to improve speeds across its networks and free up resources for future technologies.
In the four years leading up to the planned shutdown of its 2G services, AT&T has been urging its customers to make the switch to newer wireless technologies, pitching discounts and free devices as incentives for the same. It seems the company’s efforts paid off, with 99% of its user-base now making use of its 3G and 4G networks.
What this entails is a promise of faster speeds for all its customers as well as more resources being pooled into improving coverage and rolling out the next step in the evolution of wireless networks – 5G.
Today, our 3G and 4G LTE networks cover 99% of Americans. By shutting down our 2G network, this frees up more spectrum for future network technologies, including 5G. In the next few months, we plan to repurpose that spectrum for LTE.
While it’s unclear when exactly consumers will be able to get their hands on 5G technology and its blazing fast speeds, it does bring us closer to its rollout. As for teleconsumers who were or are still relying on 2G devices such as, say, the original iPhone, an upgrade is in order. With telcos now shifting their focus to newer wireless networks, it is likely only a matter of time before others follow in AT&T’s footsteps.
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