At the beginning, this information was a little shocking for me. I did not think that the mobile carriers will decide to turn off their 2G networks, i.e. the famous GSM and EDGE, so quickly. Recently, one of the largest operators in the United States has decided to make this big step.
We have a lot of call drops issues in India even in GSM networks. Unfortunately, more advanced mobile technologies, i.e. 3G (HSPA based networks) and 4G (well known LTE), are not so popular in India yet. We all know that 3G and 4G provide higher capacity than 2G, but some people still use GSM only mobile devices. However, situation in the United States is more advanced and they have quite good coverage of 3G/4G networks.
Therefore, US carrier AT&T is going to shutdown its 2G network by the end of this year.
The reason of this decision is not only the fact that EDGE technology provides slow data transmission speed. In order to provide 2G service, mobile carrier has to maintain the required 2G core network. AT&T clearly says that this is an additional (i.e. an unnecessary) cost for them. This is obvious that they prefer to invest money in the LTE networks and VoLTE solutions. Thanks to these modern technologies they are able to serve more customers.
The radio frequencies used by 2G network will be adapted to 3G and 4G signals.
Thanks to this transformation, AT&T will provide better coverage of broadband mobile Internet. Of course, all 2G subscribers will be informed about upcoming changes. As you probably guessed, these changes will impact mainly low populated areas. The truth is that also in US, the 3G/4G signal is not available across the whole country. I hope that mobile carriers all over the world will do the same in the near feature.
I think that Indian 2G networks will be shutdown in about 10 – 15 years. What is your opinion about this?