AT&T to power down 2G network by 2017


If you own a smartphone manufactured in the past two years, the following news likely won’t apply to you, but it’s still worth noting that AT&T has set a deadline for the end to their 2G network. They hope to cease operations by 2017. As the carrier continues to build out its 4G network and begins (along with other major carriers around the world) to investigate the potential of voice and data over LTE alone, the first moves are being made to shutter the aging 2G wireless technologies AT&T relied on for so long. This move away from older GSM voice and EDGE data coverage will come with “proactive” efforts to move the 12 percent of subscribers still holding on to a 2G device.

[via Engadget]

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  1. at&t has crappy 3g and 4g coverage. In the ads at&t said 97% of the usa has coverage but when they remove 2g off the map, the number drops to less then 50%.

    1. They will use the 2G spectrum for 4G expansion.

      1. Replacing 2G with 4G still doesn’t address the issue. Many many many phones support 3G but not 4G (sure, I suppose this will be a lot different in 5 years time… but regardless, I’m sure there will still be a lot of 3G only handsets out there). AT&T would need to massively expand their 3G coverage if they ever hope to kill off 2G… and with how slowly AT&T moves to do ANYTHING, there is no way they’re going to do this by 2017.

      2. I thought they were going to use the 2G for 3G? That would make more sense. Or maybe that was Tmo who was going to do that.

  2. I hope they plan on upgrading the many areas that still only have EDGE(2G) coverage before they shut it off! Notice the big “E” in the screenshot from my phone?? That’s what the coverage is for miles around where I live.

    1. You are now obligated by law to tell me what are those cool widgets you have?

      1. Looks like the new Moto clock widget that is on the Atrix. You can also download the apks and use it on other phones. That, or One More Clock Widget

  3. Force people of crappy edge to crappy 3G and make them pay more for data on your tier plans.

  4. too long, it should be down by now

  5. They better make MASSIVE upgrades to their 3G network then! There are still PLENTY of areas, even in big cities, where Edge is the only working signal.

  6. Wonder if they are going to drop it in 2017 or slowly but surely as they add 4g until or completely in one flip of a switch in 2017¿

  7. I think the carriers should get it out of their heads that they have to charge for minutes or texting. It data – it has been for years they’re the only ones who would like people to think otherwise.

    I could go so far as to argue that even analogue TV was just data being transferred OTA.

    The carriers should embrace their new future, not… whatever it is that they’re doing now.

    1. Also, 2G is still active in most of the places around where I live. If AT&T upgraded those towers by 2017 I would be shocked. Every time I have talked to an employee about it they would say that they were working on it. They have been saying that since I had an iPhone 3G and it still hasn’t changed.

  8. If they plan on doing Voice and Text by data, what happens when you run out of data?

  9. 2017???? That’s just about when AT&T will have LTE 4G installed!

    1. And everybody else will have 5G installed.

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