Mobile phone technology has come a very long way from back in the day. Back then before 3G, there was 2G, but fast forward to today and most kids probably did not even know that 2G used to exist.
That being said, a recent tweet by XDA’s Mishaal Rahman has revealed that in the latest update to Android 12, Google has actually included a 2G killswitch feature that basically stops the phone from trying to connect to 2G networks. This is due to security purposes in which hackers can actually use 2G for nefarious activities like intercepting calls and text messages sent over the network.
As the @EFF points out, Android 12 adds a toggle to disable the 2G modem. 2G is insecure and vulnerable to interception, so you're advised to avoid it.https://t.co/26YFMVtTHt
Unfortunately, this feature requires version 1.6 of the Radio HAL, and many devices don't have that. pic.twitter.com/oxyOFkyiVA
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) January 13, 2022
This is because back in the day, security of mobile networks was not what it is today and 2G was full of vulnerabilities that could be exploited. For example, due to a lack of authentication from towers to phones, hackers could actually make it so that they could impersonate a 2G tower to intercept communications.
Even though in countries like the US where carriers have essentially shut down all their 2G networks, a lot of phone modems can still connect to 2G and will attempt to do so when a 4G signal is weak, so activating this killswitch can help protect your phone and your privacy.
It should be noted that not all phones will support this feature. This is because in order to deactivate 2G, phones will need an update to the Radio HAL version 1.6, which some devices are skipping out on, so depending on your device, you may or may not be able to take advantage of this new security feature.
Source: Android Police