When waiting for our home city to get the newest in 4G networks, or wondering if there is away we can speed up our 3G connection, we seem to forget that there are those out there who are still toiling away on second generation or 2G connection. 3G and 4G are third and fourth generation wireless networks and have enough speed that most people forget, when trying to surf the net from your smartphone, was a task covered in folly.
Despite the fact that most people have moved onto a smartphone that has the ability to at least give them 3G speeds, there are those few who still operate on the much slower and antiquated system. For AT&T that will be changing soon, as the cellular provider has announced that it will officially be doing away with its 2G network in the near future. AT&T has still managed to give those cell phone users, who are not in love with downloading apps and watching YouTube videos, plenty of time to move off of their old phones. The company says that the 2G network will officially be retired by the end of 2016. The four-year buffer ought to be enough for anyone who has an older 2G phone time to upgrade to a newer model.
While most avid smartphone users might be surprised that there truly are still people using the much older models, AT&T says that there are still about 8.4 million people using 2G handsets. That number actually represents a fairly large section of AT&T customers, making up 12 percent of subscribers. AT&T says that some 2G users will actually have to upgrade long before 2016, as the company is moving city by city, with New York being one of the largest targets for phase out. The company says it has been working hard trying to get 2G users to upgrade to faster phones.
AT&T is not the only company making this particular move. Sprint has also announced that it is phasing people out of the 2G market and moving them to the 3G network. While in technology years, 2G is almost ancient, it wasn’t that long ago that the second generation of wireless networks was launched. Among the phones still using AT&T’s 2G network is the original iPhone, released just five years ago.
AT&T is a sponsor of Mobility Tech Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5 2012, in Austin, TX. Co-sponsored by TMC Partner Crossfire Media the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo provides unmatched networking opportunities and a robust conference program representing the mobile ecosystem. For more information on IEXPO West 2012 click here.
Edited by Brooke Neuman