<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=537390723414213&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Get a personalized quote Quote

Global 2G and 3G Phase Out / Sunset: What Do We Know So Far?

Global 2G and 3G Phase Out / Sunset: What Do We Know So Far?

With 4G achieving mainstream status and 5G just about to take off, the transition away from legacy tech in existing deployments 

Global 2G and 3G Phase Out / Sunset: What Do We Know So Far?

With increasing 4G proliferation and 5G already being rolled out in some regions, network operators’ focus has been shifting away from GSM and UMTS networks for quite some time now to free up frequencies for the new technologies.

The move away from legacy technologies will undoubtedly be a significant transition for many IoT and M2M companies, because 2G and 3G connectivity is still the most used technologies for deployed devices. 

With this in mind, we take an overview look at how the global 2G and 3G sunset is progressing. With no global roadmap for phasing-out 2G or 3G, our overview will focus on the state of play by region: Asia, Australia & Oceania, Europe, Africa, North-America, Central and South-America.

Asia

East Asia is leading the way in regard to switching-off 2G networks. In certain countries in the region, such as Japan, Macau, Singapore and South Korea, there is no 2G available at all. In Taiwan and Thailand, the major network operators have already phased out 2G with some operators in those countries still offering 2G services for a limited time.

Switch-Off Date

Network Operator

Country

Technology

2025

Grameenphone

Bangladesh

GSM

2017

Reliance JIO

 

India

GSM

2019

Airtel India

GSM

30.06.2015

CTM, Hutchison, Smartone

Macau

GSM

01.08.2019

CTM, Hutchison, Smartone

Macau

GSM

2022

Telenor Myanmar

Myanmar

GSM

2025-2027

Telenor Myanmar

Myanmar

UMTS

After 2020

Digi

Malaysia

GSM, UMTS

2023

Telenor Pakistan

UMTS

01.04.2018

M1, Singtel, Starhub

Singapore

GSM

2011

KT, LG Uplus, SK Telecom South Korea

GSM

31.10.2019

DTAC, AIS, TrueMoveH

Thailand

GSM

XX.XX.XXXX

DTAC

Thailand

UMTS

31.12.2017

Chunghwa, Far East Tone, Taiwan Mobile, Taiwan Star

Taiwan

GSM

31.12.2018

Chunghwa, Far East Tone, Taiwan Mobile, Taiwan Star, Asia pacific Telecom

Taiwan

UMTS

 

Oceania

Vodafone New Zealand still operates a 2G network with no switch-off date having been announced. However, in Australia, Vodafone switched off its 2G network on 30th June 2018.

Switch-Off Date

Status

Network Operator

Country

Technology

01.12.2016

Closed

Telstra

Australia

GSM

01.04.2017

Closed

Optus

Australia

GSM

30.08.2018

Closed

Vodafone

Australia

GSM

31.07.2012

Closed

Spark

New Zealand

CDMA

15.03.2018

Closed

2 Degrees

New Zealand

GSM

01.10.2018

Closing

NTT Docomo

Guam & Saipan

GSM

 

Europe

In some European countries it could be the case where 2G may even outlive 3G, UMTS. Norwegian MNO Telenor announced 3G switch-off in 2020 – five years before 2G.

Vodafone has announced it is to phase-out 3G networks across Europe in 2020 and 2021 while Deutsche Telekom plans to continue 3G, UMTS until the end of 2020. However, there are no plans by either Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom or Telefonica for 2G switch off.

Switch-Off Date

Network Operator

Country

Technology

01.01.2021

Swisscom

Lichtenstein

GSM

31.12.2020

T-Mobile

Netherlands

GSM

31.12.2025

Telenor

Norway

GSM

31.12.2020

Telenor

Norway

UMTS

31.12.2021

Telia

Norway

UMTS

2020

Telenor

Sweden

UMTS

2025

Tele2, Telia

Sweden

UMTS

End of 2021
End of 2024

Sunrise

Switzerland

GSM900
UMTS*

31.12.2020

Swisscom

Switzerland

GSM

*UMTS900 to remain in operation while UMTS2100 will be gradually wound down until switch-off date

North America

As of 2020, there will be no 2G network available in North America.

Switch-Off Date

Network Operator

Country

Technology

01.12.2016

Manitoba Telecom

Canada

CDMA

01.01.2017

Bell

Canada

CDMA

31.01.2017

Telus

Canada

CDMA

31.07.2017

SaskTel

Canada

CDMA

2019

AT&T

Mexico

GSM

2020

Movistar

Mexico

GSM

31.12.2016

AT&T

USA

GSM

31.12.2019

Verizon Wireless

USA

CDMA

XX.XX.2020

T-Mobile

USA

GSM

 

Africa, Central America and South America

These markets are less developed than those above, and as such will not lead the way when it comes to refarming spectrum to accommodate LTE. There is no mass switch off of 2G in these regions expected until 2020.

Switch-Off Date

Network Operator

Country

Technology

30.04.2018

Antigua Public Utilities Authority

Antigua and Barbuda

GSM

31.12.2014

CNT

Ecuador

CDMA

 

If IoT and M2M companies hope to continue to compete after 2G networks are shut down around the world, they must evolve – and implement hardware that supports modern cellular technologies. Whether you decide to stick with 2G for now or migrate to 3G, 4G or LTE, EMnify can help set you on the right path for your IoT deployment.

At EMnify, we specialize in providing IoT connectivity in the cloud and secure service management for your IoT devices. For more information on how we can help with your IoT connectivity needs, reach out to our team of IoT experts via email: info@emnify.com or phone:  +49-30-5557-33333. 

Please note: All information in this article has been gathered from open sources at best effort. EMnify takes no liability regarding the correctness. 

Are you searching for the right IoT solution
for your business?

Check out our Introductory Guide to Wireless Connectivity
to make the best decision for your IoT use case.
Download our introductory guide to wireless connectivity

Subscribe to the Blog

Recent Posts