AT&T, one of the major U.S. carrier has decided to completely stop providing 2G services to its customers by the year 2017. The company’s plans to move ahead from the 2G spectrum was revealed from AT&T’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
The main reason for this decision is to meet the ever increasing demands on its 3G and 4G services, which it will expand using the spectrum gained by dissolving the 2G service.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to improve our network performance and help address the need for additional spectrum capacity, we intend to redeploy spectrum currently used for basic 2G services to support more advanced mobile Internet services on our 3G and 4G networks. We will manage this process consistent with previous network upgrades and will transition customers on a market-by-market basis from our Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) networks (referred to as 2G networks) to our more advanced 3G and 4G networks. We expect to fully discontinue service on our 2G networks by approximately January 1, 2017.”, the filing states.
The carrier will not stop 2G services all at once but will do it gradually, assisting customers in switching over to 3G and 4G networks. At present, only about 12 percent of AT&T customers use 2G handsets, a a very huge number, which can be easy to handle without causing any material loss to the company, it states in the filing.
The huge growth of the smartphone industry, most of them 3G, with a growing number of 4G handsets, U.S. carriers have been facing a spectrum shortage. In a bid to increase its spectrum holdings, AT&T announced yesterday that it would acquire the wireless technology company NextWave Wireless Inc.
AT&T is not alone in this spectrum crisis, even Verizon has expressed its need for more spectrum with the FCC and plans to buy additional spectrum from cable companies.
Category: Tech News