2G Sunset Brings Faster Speeds, Newer Technologies

January 16, 2017
By John Donovan

To help support the massive growth of mobile internet usage and free up spectrum for newer technologies, we discontinued service on our 2G wireless networks Jan. 1, 2017.

Since launching our 2G networks, technologies like smart phones, social media and wirelessly connected devices have changed the network landscape. In fact, since 2007, data usage on our network has grown by 250,000% with video being a significant contributor to this growth.

We announced our plan to shut down the 2G network 4 years ago. Prior to the shutdown, we communicated frequently with our customers about upgrading to newer technologies. And we wanted it to be easy to do, so we offered discounts and free devices to eligible customers.

Making way for newer, faster technologies

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.

Newer, faster technologies will improve the wireless experience. IoT customers will be able to better serve their customers with improved applications and solutions because of the higher speeds of the upgraded network. Mobility customers will enjoy faster speeds to share photos and watch video.

The retirement of our 2G network – like our earlier retirement of the analog wireless network – is part of our 5G Evolution, which includes continued deployment of our 4G LTE and other technologies in the years to come. 

John Donovan - Chief Strategy Officer and Group President – AT&T Technology and Operations

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