A Complete Overview of 2G & 3G Sunsets

Tags: IoT
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Andrew Worth

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.

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