A Complete Overview of 2G & 3G Sunsets

Tags: IoT
A picture of Andrew Worth
Written by
Andrew Worth

Latest update on January 20, 2022

Many of our customers are concerned about the upcoming shutdown of 2G and 3G networks around the world. You are probably thinking about it too. We have compiled all the available information into one article, so you are in the right place.

The shutdown of 2G and 3G networks is commonly referred to as sunsetting. Telecom companies are looking to shut down their 2G or 3G networks because they want to free up resources for the upcoming 5G deployments.

If your module is designed to use 2G or 3G, the phasing out of the network may cause problems for many devices. So it's wise to prepare for a future without 2G and 3G networks.

2G and 3G are still essential for IoT and M2M devices because they are cheaper than 4G modules. In addition, megabyte prices are cheaper and global coverage is reliable. Moreover, the speeds of 4G are not relevant for IoT or M2M devices that send minimal amounts of data. The slow 2G connection is still fast enough for today's standards.

From our side, we can say that for truly global deployments, it does not make sense to commit your device to 2G or 3G only. Or even to have a module that allows you to switch between the two. However, if you are only targeting specific countries or regions where they are still a viable option, we can not stop you.

Below is a list of shutdowns that have been announced or have already taken place.

Africa:

South Africa

Telkom

Vodacom

Asia:

Bangladesh

Grameenphone

  • 2G shutdown by the end of 2025
  • 3G shutdown by the end of 2026

China

Unicom

China Mobile

  • 3G shutdown by the end of 2021

Indionesia

XL Excelcom

  • 2G shutdown by the end of 2022

India

Airtel

  • 2G shutdown by the end of 2023
  • 3G shutdown: March 2020

Vodafone

  • 3G shutdown sometime in 2022

IDEA India

  • 3G shutdown in 2020

Japan

  • Nationwide 2G shutdown in 2012

NTT DoCoMo

  • 3G shutdown date: March 20261

KDDI

  • 3G shutdown date: March 2026

SoftBank

  • 3G shutdown date: June 20241

Hong Kong

All carriers

  • 2G phase out from 2020

Macau, SAR        

Hutchison

  • 2G Shutdown in June 20151

SmarTone

  • 2G Shutdown in June 20151

CTM

  • 2G shutdown in June 20151

Malaysia

All carriers due to governmental regulation

Digi

  • 2G shutdown by the end of 2024

Myanmar

  • Telenor 2G Shutdown scheduled for 2024
  • 3G shutdown planned for 2025

Pakistan

Telenor

  • 2G shutdown planned for 2025
  • 3G shutdown planned for 2023

Mobilink

  • 2G and 3G sunset in 2020

Singapore

M1

  • 2G shutdown date: April 01, 2017
  • 3G will start shutting down from 2025+1

    Singtel
  • 2G shutdown date: April 01, 2017
  • 3G will start shutting down from 2025+1

StarHub

  • 2G shutdown date: April 01, 2017
  • 3G will start shutting down from 2025+1

South Korea

Taiwan

All carriers due to governmental regulation

Thailand

All carriers due to governmental regulation

DTAC TriNet

  • 3G shutdown at the end of 2025

Vietnam

All carriers due to governmental regulation

Caribbean:

Cayman Island  

South America:

Ecuador

CNT

Europe:

Vodafone across Europe

Austria

A1

  • 3G shutdown at the end of 2025

Bulgaria

A1 (Mobitel)

  • 3G shutdown at the end of 2025

Croatia

T-Mobile

  • 3G shutdown at the end of 2022

Czech Republic

O2

T-Mobile

Denmark

Three

  • 3G phase out at the end of 2021

TT-Netvaerket       

Telenor

Telia

TDC

Estonia

Telia

  • 2G and 3G phase out in 2025

Finland

DNA

  • 2G phase out in 2025
  • 3G phase out in 2023

Elisa

  • 3G phase out in 2023

TeliaSonera

  • 2G and 3G phase out in 2025

France

SFR

Germany

Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile)

Telefónica / O2

  • 3G shutdown: completed by end of 2022

Vodafone

Greece

Cosmote

Italy

Vodafone

Ireland

Hutchinson 3G

  • 2G phase out by the end of 2021
  • 3G phase out starts at 2023

O2

  • 2G phase out in 2025
  • 3G phase out starts at 2023

    Latvia

    Telia

    • 3G shutdown in 2022

    Lithuania

    Telia 

    • 2G phase out in 2025
    • 3G shutdown in 2022

    Bite

    Luxembourg

    Post Luxembourg

    Malta

    EPIC

    • 2G phase out in 2025

    Montenegro

    M-Tel

    • 2G phase out in 2025

    Netherlands

    T-Mobile

    • 2G shutdown: June 2023
    • 3G phase out expected in 2023

    KPN

    Vodafone

    Norway

    Telenor 

    Com4 

    • 2G shutdown in 2025
    • 3G shutdown in 2020

    Telia 

    • 3G phase out in 2021

    Poland

    T-Mobile

    Portugal

    Vodafone

    Spain

    Telefonica Espana (Movistar)

    Vodafone

    • 2G phase out in 2025

    Slovakia

    Slovak Telecom

    Sweden

    • 2G and 3G phase out nationwide in 2025

    Switzerland

    Swisscom (Switzerland and Liechtenstein) 

    Sunrise Communications

    • 2G shutdown: end-2022
    • 3G shutdown: 2024 (already downsizing frequencies and capacity)

    United Kingdom

    BT (EE)

    Vodafone UK

    • 3G shutdown by 2024

    North America:

    Canada

    Rogers Wireless

    • 2G on 1900 MHz Shutdown: March 31, 2021 (will continue to work on 850MHz until December 31, 2021)
    • 2G complete Shutdown: December 31, 2021
    • 3G on 1900 MHz Shutdown: March 31, 2021 (Continued 3G support on 850 MHz until 2025)

    SakTel

    United States

    AT&T 

    Verizon

    T-Mobile 

    Cricket wireless

    South America:

    Ecuador

    CNT

    Mexico

    • AT&T 2G shutdown: 2019
    • AT&T 3G shutdown: February 2022
    • Telefonica (Movistar) 2G shutdown by January 2021

    Middle East:

    Israel

    Pelephone

    Jordan

    Umniah Mobile Company

    • 2G shutdown by the end of 2021

    Saudi Arabia

    STC

    • 2G and 3G shutdown sometime in 2022

    Zain

    • 2G shutdown sometime in 2022

    Mobily

    • 2G shutdown sometime in 2022

    UAE

    Oceania:

    Australia

    Telstra

    • 2G Shutdown: December 1, 2016
    • 3G Shutdown: March 25, 2019 (turned off 3G connectivity on 2100MHz, continued support for 3G services on 850MHz)
    • 3G in 850MHz available until 2030.

    Optus

    Vodafone

    New Zealand

    Spark

    2degrees

    Vodafone

    • 2G shutdown in 20251

    Sunsets do not have to be the end of your deployment dreams. If you plan properly, you can avoid all the headaches by choosing the right hardware for your deployment region from the start. You can read more about the different modems that support 2G, 3G, 4G and eSIM here.

    We will also update this article or make new posts when new announcements are made by telecom companies regarding their 2G or 3G shutdowns around the world.

    ----

    References:
    1. GSMA Legacy mobile network rationalisation, Experiences of 2G and 3G migrations in Asia-Pacific, May 2020

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