A Complete Overview of 2G & 3G Sunsets

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

Latest update on February 10, 2021

Many of our customers are worried about the impending shutdown of 2G & 3G networks around the world. Probably you're considering it as well. We have collected all the available information into one article, so you're in the right place.

Shutting down 2G and 3G networks is generally called sunsetting. Telecoms are eager to shut down their 2G or 3G networks because they want to free up resources for impending 5G deployments.

If your intended module is designed to use 2G or 3G, the sunsetting can cause many device deployments problems. So it's wise to prepare for the future without 2G and 3G networks.

2G and 3G are still essential for IoT and M2M devices because of their lower cost than 4G modules. Also, cheaper megabyte pricing and reliable worldwide coverage. Furthermore, the speeds of 4G are not relevant for IoT or M2M devices, which are sending minimal amounts of data. The 2G's slow connection is still fast enough for today's standards.

From our side, we can say that for truly global deployments, it's not reasonable to lock your device into only 2G or 3G. Or even have a module that allows switching between the two. However, if you're only targeting certain countries or regions where they are still a viable option, then we can't stop you.

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

Africa:

South Africa

Telkom

Vodacom

Asia:

Bangladesh

Grameenphone

  • 2G shutdown planned for 2025

China

Unicom

India

Airtel

Japan

  • Nationwide 2G shutdown in 2012

NTT DoCoMo

KDDI

  • 2G shutdown date: March 2008
  • 3G shutdown date: March 20221

SoftBank

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

Myanmar

  • Telenor 2G Shutdown scheduled for 2022
  • 3G shutdown planned for 2025-2027

Pakistan

Telenor

  • 3G shutdown planned for 2023

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

KT

LG U+

  • 2G shutdown: July 20211

SK Telecom

Taiwan

All carriers due to governmental regulation

Thailand

All carriers due to governmental regulation

Vietnam

Caribbean:

Cayman Island  

South America:

Ecuador

CNT

Europe:

Vodafone across Europe

Denmark

Three       

  • 3G phase out starts from 2020

TT-Netvaerket       

Telenor     

Telia

TDC

France

SFR

Germany

Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile)

Vodafone

Italy

  • Vodafone 3G shutdown: January 31, 2021

Latvia

Telia

  • 3G shutdown in 2022

Lithuania

Telia 

  • 3G shutdown in 2022

Bite

Netherlands

T-Mobile

KPN

Vodafone

Norway

Telenor 

Poland

T-Mobile

Spain

Telefonica Espana (Movistar

Sweden

  • Telia  3G Shutdown: 2025
  • Tele2 3G Shutdown: 2025

Switzerland

Swisscom (Switzerland and Liechtenstein) 

Sunrise Communications

United Kingdom

BT (EE)

Vodafone UK

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)

SakTel

Mexico

  • AT&T 2G Shutdown: 2023 or later
  • Telefonica (Movistar) 2G will start shutting down from December 2020 and conclude at the end of January 2021

United States

AT&T 

Verizon

T-Mobile 

Cricket wireless

Middle East:

Israel

Pelephone

Saudi Arabia        

STC

  • 3G shutdown sometime in 2022

UAE

Oceania:

Australia

Telstra

Optus

Vodafone

New Zealand

Spark

2degrees

Vodafone

  • 2G shutdown in 20251

Sunsets don’t have to be the end of the line for your deployment dreams. If properly planned for, you can avoid all the headache by choosing the right hardware for your deployment region from the very beginning. You can read more about the various modems which support 2G, 3G, 4G, and eSIM here.

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

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

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