AT&T to pull the plug on its 2G network by 2017

By , Aug 3, 2012

If you’re still using the first generation iPhone, I have two pieces of news for you: a good, and a bad one.

The bad news is that AT&T will be ending its 2G Edge network by 2017. The good news is that it gives you the opportunity to upgrade to other iPhone models, potentially the iPhone 11 which should hit the shelves sometimes in 2017…

The Wall Street Journal broke the news earlier today:

AT&T is shutting down its second-generation, or 2G, wireless networks by 2017 as it continues to upgrade its systems to faster technology and better use its limited airwaves.

The telecom giant said about 12% of its contract wireless customers, or roughly 8.4 million people, were using 2G handsets at the end of June, but it will work “proactively” in coming years to move them to more advanced devices. Like the other major carriers, AT&T’s customers mostly use phones with third-generation technology, and it is aggressively rolling out a nationwide fourth-generation network.

The news doesn’t really come as a surprise as carriers around the world, including AT&T, are transitioning to the better/faster/stronger 4G LTE, which the next iPhone is rumored to support. Killing off older networks such as 2G is part of the master plan to free up spectrum for newer and faster technologies.

By 2017 I assume you’ll have at least upgraded to the iPhone LTE though, right?

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  • http://twitter.com/itscb3 Charles Brown III

    This might change the world of unlocked phones forever.

    • Solowalker

      Um, hopefully by then the US will have wised up and scrapped this whole “locked phone” garbage notion. If nothing changes in 5 years in terms of contracts, subsidies, and locked phones here in the US, I think I’ll be moving out.

      • Joey_Mousepad

        seems like a reasonable excuse to leave a country…

      • Solowalker

        Obviously I’m half joking, but it could very well mean an overall lack of progress and innovation in technology, business, and even government. It could really show where priorities are. Maybe not the best measuring stick, but I hope you know what I mean.

  • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

    2012 5 AKA “iphone”
    2013 5S AKA “iphone”
    2014 6 AKA “iphone”
    2015 6S AKA “iphone”
    2016 7 AKA “iphone”
    2017 7S AKA “iphone”

    • http://twitter.com/rud0lf77 Rudolf Lichtner

      That would be dumb…

      • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

        Yeah other Apple product’s naming conventions are really dumb. We should all have iMac 5 and MacBook 4S. -______-

  • wadrockzz

    LOL!! iPhone 11! I think I will wait until then to upgrade!

    • Solowalker

      Why stop there? The 12 would be out shortly afterward. And just think of what the 15 will bring! ;P

      Gotta upgrade sometime…

  • Zorvage

    Pff, I’m upgrading to the iPhone 5 the day it comes out. Does anyone know when the iPhone 5 will be released in europe if it releases on September 21 in America?

    • http://twitter.com/oneBurge Burge

      Who said it will be on the 21 …that’s just a rumour .. And no if it was the 21 no one knows when it will hit Europe ..but I’ll say if it was to be any day it would be the 21

      • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

        that makes no sense

  • http://twitter.com/SgtSmackSmith Johnny 2Balls adidas

    No I was thinking more of waiting for the iPhone 15… With Siri BETA 11 and 100 megapixel camera

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Cannan/100000630162509 Steven Cannan

      Siri then won’t be beta ;)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1849765376 Jordan Rushing

        That was the joke…

  • Manuel Molina

    By then, I’m assuming someone would be smart enough to upgrade to a 3 and 4G phone if they plan to continue to use smartphones. They should pull 2G sooner on my opinion. Maybe 2015?

  • chjode

    That’s good to hear… especially since my iPhone 4 regularly falls back to EDGE at my house. I use AT&T’s Mark The Spot app to report EDGE to AT&T several times a week, but there’s been no improvement. Hopefully in the next five years, the 3G will improve around here. Verizon’s 3G signal is stronger, but no LTE here either so the faster network speeds do nothing for me.

  • Kok Hean

    So if your 3G signal drops, you’re basically screwed with no data connection.

    • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

      2017 – “If we still need 2G by now… we’re doing it wrong.”
      LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1507068701 Jorit Studer

    I would love to own the orginal iPhone 1 in that good of a condition!
    Looks gorgeous :D

    • gian testa

      i have one that ill sell. like new, used maybe 5 days, then put back in box

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1507068701 Jorit Studer

        I don’t really got the money to buy one ahaha