AT&T Planning to Shut Off 2G EDGE Network by 2017

Original iPhone 2007

Original iPhone 2007

AT&T’s 2G EDGE network is one of the oldest mobile networks and it appears that the company is now ready to retire the network to give way for faster 3G and 4G LTE networking. The EDGE network was the only available network for accessing the internet on the original iPhone, often referred to in blogs as the “iPhone 2G”. EDGE gave iPhone users the ability to access the web in Safari, download Mail attachments, run Maps, and other network based activities.

With the introduction of the iPhone 3G and numerous other faster devices, 2G EDGE network was cast into the shadows as old technology. AT&T has announced that they will phase out and shut off the network by 2017. In a Wall Street Journal report, Thomas Gryta noted the following:

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.

With AT&T’s 2G EDGE network being shut off, 3G will now likely become the “old” technology and replaced by faster 4G LTE, which the upcoming iPhone 5 is expected to run like the current iPad. Currently, networks fall back on 2G when faster 3G and LTE fail to connect.

That will now change to fall back on 3G networking. AT&T will gradually transfer remaining 2G EDGE customers over the next 5 years and shut down the standard altogether, making way for the future of faster HSPA+ networks.

{via iMore — Image Credit: iPhoneInCanada}


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