The End is Near: Sunset of Legacy 3GPP Technologies in Support of 5G

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By Leo Gergs | 1Q 2021 | IN-6032


The End of 2G and 3G is Near


While 2020 has been the year for 5G deployments, it has also been the year for legacy technology sunset, as a rising number of operators join their peers to announce plans to shut down 2G (GSM) and 3G (UMTS) networks during the year 2020. Even though there is no globally unified strategy to phase out 2G and 3G networks, there is a cross-continental pattern visible:

In Europe, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone have announced their plans to phase out 3G networks by the end of 2020 or during 2021 at the latest. Likewise, Norwegian operator Telenor announced its 3G switch-off for the end of 2020, while it intends to continue 2G networks until 2025. North America saw the shutdown of the last remaining 2G networks with T-Mobile in the United States and Movistar in Mexico in 2020. While countries in the Asia-Pacific region (Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea or Singapore) have been leading the way to phasing out GSM and UMTS, operators in developing countries like Bangladesh, India, Macau and Myanmar have announced their shutdown plans for mid- to late-2020s. It should be noted, however, t…

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