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AT&T on target to shutdown 2G network by the end of 2016
Two years ago, AT&T announced it would shutdown its 2G network by the end of 2016. Now, Mobeen Khan, AT&T’s executive director of M2M product management, is stating that AT&T is meeting their shutdown targets as it works to move 2G customers onto their 3G and 4G networks.
AT&T plans to refarm spectrum from its 2G network and give it to their 3G and 4G networks, thereby providing faster speeds and more capacity to those 3G and 4G users.
Although a majority of AT&T’s customers will move over to AT&T’s newer networks with recent purchases of HSPA and LTE enabled smartphones, AT&T is still working on those customers with 2G GSM phones who have not purchased 3G and 4G enabled phones.
The biggest issue for AT&T with this shutdown comes from their 17 million machine-to-machine customers, who often keep the same equipment in place for a decade or more.
Last year, Sprint inked a deal with module provider u-blox to be Sprint’s preferred module provider for its 2G CDMA network, which was seen as a direct move towards taking away a number of those M2M customers.