by davidbristol
Explorer

When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

When will 2g be switched off in the uk? A EE response would be appreciated.

21 REPLIES 21
by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

@davidbristol Seeing as though there’s been no mention of this then at the moment it’s not been switched off 

 

I’ve just done a little research on this and 3G might just be switched off before 2G because of how it provides solid low frequency coverage in rural areas, and is also an alternative to sometimes unreliable 4G.   But nothing will happen until 5G becomes available to the masses. 

by davidbristol
Explorer

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

Thanks for the response. I need to know when it will be switched off or at least the forcasted date as we are due to purchase a SMS gateway that is going to be on GSM and I don't see the point if it is going to be switched off in the short term, our telco has said they only offer GSM.

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

@davidbristol   Sorry you’ll not get any sort of pre-announcement because nothing has been decided yet. 

by Star Contributor
Star Contributor

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

2G will likely be going for at least another 10 years in this country as it can be run on very narrow carriers and is needed for dumb phones and M2M.

by Profile closed
Not applicable

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

I suspect 2G will actually out-live 3G.  3G will probably go first as 3G has never been a very efficient use of spectrum.

 

3G spectrum will be probably re-affirmed for other/4G use (as some UK networks are already doing; though not EE yet as far as I'm aware).

by MSpire Investigator
Investigator

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

I would immediately move to any network that switches off 2G and 3G. The presence of 2G and 3G shows how backward the UK mobile industry is, with still incomplete coverage after 11 years. EE is the least bad of the providers. We should copy advanced countries like Japan, Singapore and Korea.

by Expert Contributor
Expert Contributor

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

Just in case there is any confusion GSM does not mean 2G. 

 

I guess you are buying what's called a gateway appliance which connects to your network and has one or more SIM cards?

 

If you're worried about future proofing it might be better to sign up to a service that does this over the internet (through a direct link to an SMS message centre). Packages are available from hundreds to thousands of SMS per month.

 

If going down the appliance route then be aware that the terms and conditions of many contracts (and PAYG) forbid the use in gateways. 

by slenpree Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

I don’t think it costs anything to keep GPRS/EDGE/TDMA “2G data” enabled on the base GSM carrier that still need to exist anyway. Freeing up 3G spectrum to be used for 4G and 5G services makes more sense. Only within the last year has EE enabled VoLTE (4G Calling as EE refer to it as) so it previously wasnt possible to switch off 3G without losing high quality phone calls. This has all changed recently, probably there will be some cut off point where EE can see 95% of handsets are establishing a VoLTE connection on 4G, and  that would be the point where 3G can be switched off. It’s difficult to put a date on it because that’s not something EE have control of but I should imagine within the next 2-3 years since handsets have supported it along time before EE enabled it (all the way back to the iPhone 6). Besides EEs 4G coverage in some places is better than their 3G coverage. Sometimes I drop from 4G to 2G but I rarely see 3G. 

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

@slenpree it’ll be more than 2-3 years before 3G will be turned off completely as not all handsets can make calls over 4G if not purchased from the networks directly. ( none branded network handsets and payg customers ).  And 4G calling was released country wide 2 years ago. 

by Star Contributor
Star Contributor

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

EE has had VoLTE for more than a year!

Running any RAT costs money.

High quality phone calls can be done on 2G, just means increased footprint per call.

Users don't tend to see 3G because of network parameters.

 

EE is currently shrinking the 2100MHz use for legacy technology quite a lot which is a pleasing sign. 

by slenpree Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

@Peter_C wrote:

EE has had VoLTE for more than a year!

Running any RAT costs money.

High quality phone calls can be done on 2G, just means increased footprint per call.

Users don't tend to see 3G because of network parameters.

 

EE is currently shrinking the 2100MHz use for legacy technology quite a lot which is a pleasing sign. 

If you look at the 3G coverage around Milton Keynes compared to the 4G coverage, 4G is actually better, one of the reasons is because 4G makes use of the 800MHz band whereas EE only have 3G on the 2.1GHz band. The lower frequency propagates further at the same power level. 

 

“HD Voice” requires 3G on EE and the other UK networks. 23.05kbps/23.85kbps is higher than a full rate GSM channel. 

by slenpree Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?


@Chris_B wrote:

@slenpree it’ll be more than 2-3 years before 3G will be turned off completely as not all handsets can make calls over 4G if not purchased from the networks directly. ( none branded network handsets and payg customers ).  And 4G calling was released country wide 2 years ago. 


Probably there will be some cut off point where EE can see 95% of handsets are establishing a VoLTE connection on 4G, and  that would be the point where 3G can be switched off. It’s difficult to put a date on it because that’s not something EE have control of. 

by Star Contributor
Star Contributor

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

HD Voice ie AMR-WB is 12.65kbps.

I don't see where you are getting the 95% call on VoLTE requirement from. 

by slenpree Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?


@Peter_C wrote:

HD Voice ie AMR-WB is 12.65kbps.

I don't see where you are getting the 95% call on VoLTE requirement from. 


It’s an example number. What I am saying is that you can’t put a date on it. It has to be based on some kind of fact such as the cost of running a nationwide 3G network (bandwidth that could be used elsewhere) against supporting a certain percentage of remaining handsets that cannot support voice over 4G, and at the moment it’s obviously too early because there are many handsets (as you rightly say) that don’t support it and on EE are only getting HD voice calling on 3G. Coverage of 4G is already better than 3G in many places; so  to my original point - it’s more likely 3G will be switched off before 2G, and 2G data may never be switched off. 

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

@slenpree  Please read my first reply to this thread.  And you’ll probably find that 3G “might” be switched off once and only once all customers have moved to a 4G enabled device and all devices no matter were purchased have access to VoLTE and PAYG customers have this service and then it’ll probably be 5+ years after that.  So in the long term probably around 10-15+ years at the earliest.  2G is going no where for the next 20+ years as it has a longer range then any network frequency.  

by slenpree Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

 

@Chris_B wrote:

@slenpree  Please read my first reply to this thread.  And you’ll probably find that 3G “might” be switched off once and only once all customers have moved to a 4G enabled device and all devices no matter were purchased have access to VoLTE and PAYG customers have this service and then it’ll probably be 5+ years after that.  So in the long term probably around 10-15+ years at the earliest.  2G is going no where for the next 20+ years as it has a longer range then any network frequency.  


 

 

Yeah sounds about right. 

by MSpire Investigator
Investigator

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

Mobile companies may maintain as many standards as they want. The problem is that they are counting pre-4G standards in coverage statistics. They are fobbing off users by treating a 2G or 3G signal as "coverage". The difference between 2G and 3G and having no signal for smartphone, tablet, or laptop users is trivial. The UK is extremely backward when it comes to technology policy, so we rely on individual providers to go alone. Switching off 2G and 3G would be a great statement of commitment to 4G coverage.


That said, EE's "clear on coverage" is a step in the right direction.

by Jameden
Explorer

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

@MSpire Well the Three network already doesn't support 2G so basically you're saying to move to Three?

by Profile closed
Not applicable

Re: When will 2g be switched off in the uk?

I suspect 3G will actually disappear before 2G does.  Most networks including EE are already re-affirming 2100Mhz spectrum from 3G use to 4G use.

 

2G is still used in many M2M devices and so will be around for some time yet.

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