AT&T announced yesterday that it had stopped supporting 2G, and that it had shut down its entire 2G network as of January 1, 2017. The end of 2G was planned four years ago, and AT&T has finally gotten down to retiring the older standard of mobile communication.
AT&T is now focusing on bringing 5G networks to life, and the natural death of 2G comes as no surprise. In today’s world of LTE and blazing mobile speeds, 2G truly doesn’t have a place in the developed world any more.
The fact that there were no visible signs of users complaining about the loss of 2G means it won’t be missed all that much. For its part, AT&T says that it has been offering discounts and special deals for customers on the old network, as well as sending them reminders to upgrade to newer devices.
The existing 2G spectrum is still there, however, but it will be repurposed for LTE, giving AT&T more bandwidth on that technology as well as space to test out their 5G efforts. 5G isn’t expected to roll out any time soon, but AT&T has joined hands with none other than Intel to test out a mini version of a 5G network at their Austin, Texas facility.
Both AT&T and Verizon will be extensively testing their 5G capabilities in 2017 for a full 5G roll out by 2020.
The move to 5G will mean faster data transfer speeds, better connectivity, lower latency, and support for key technologies like near field communication used to transact mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay and others.
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