Many of our customers are worried about the impending shutdown of 2G & 3G networks around the world. Probably you're considering it as well. We have collected all the available information into one article, so you're in the right place.


The following article serves as part 2 of our popular blog post on the very same topic. The first edition covered everything that was known in March 2018. Since then there have been new announcements from telecoms around the world regarding their planned shutdowns.

Shutting down 2G and 3G networks is generally called sunsetting. The reason why telecoms are eager to shut down their 2G or 3G networks is that they want to free up resources for impending 5G deployments. If your intended module is designed to use 2G or 3G, the sunsetting can cause many problems with device deployments. So it's wise to prepare for the future without 2G and 3G networks.

2G and 3G are still essential for IoT and M2M devices because of their lower cost compared to 4G modules. Also, cheaper megabyte pricing and reliable worldwide coverage. Furthermore, the speeds of 4G are not relevant for IoT or M2M devices, which are sending minimal amounts of data. The 2G's slow connection is still fast enough for today's standards.

From our side, we can say that for truly global deployments, it's not reasonable to lock your device into only 2G or 3G. Or even have a module that allows switching between the two. However, if you're only targeting certain countries or regions where they are still a viable option, then we can't stop you.

Following is a list of shutdowns that have been announced or have already taken place.

North America:

United States

AT&T


Verizon


T-Mobile


Sprint


Canada

Bell Mobility


Telus Mobility


Rogers Wireless


Mexico

AT&T


Telefonica


Europe:

Vodafone across Europe


Switzerland

Swisscom (and Liechtenstein)


Sunrise Communications


Netherlands

T-Mobile


Norway

Telia


Telenor


Sweden

Telia


Tele2


Germany

Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile)


Asia:

China

China Mobile


China Unicom


India

Airtel


Reliance


Japan

Nationwide 2G shutdown in 2012

NTT DoCoMo


KDDI


SoftBank


South Korea

KT


Taiwan

All carriers due to governmental regulation


Thailand

All carriers due to governmental regulation


Singapore

M1


Singtel


StarHub


Oceania

Australia

Telstra


Optus


Vodafone


New Zealand

Spark


2degrees


Fortunately, 2G and 3G sunsets don't have to be the end of the line for your deployment dreams. You can avoid all the headache by choosing the right hardware for your deployment region from the very beginning. You can read more about the various modems which support 2G, 3G, 4G, and eSIM here.


We will keep updating this article and come up with new posts when new announcements take place regarding 2G or 3G shutdowns around the world.