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  • AT&T to Put An End to 2G Network By 2017


    The iPhone has been capable of running on AT&Tís 2G network since the dawn of the first iPhone release. When connected to GPRS, an "O" is shown in the Status Bar; for Edge, an "E" is shown in the Status Bar in place of the 3G or Wi-Fi indicator, as shown in the screenshot above. 2G speeds are not the fastest way to enjoy a cellular connection, but for newer iPhones, it can be used to save battery life while still being connected on the go.

    According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, AT&T announced that it will be putting an end to their 2G network by the year 2017, as only 12% of their wireless customers are using the 2G network. This point in time is still nearly 5 years away, giving AT&T phone owners the chance to replace their older cell phones with newer, up-to-date phones with 3G and newer cellular technology built into them.

    With todayís uses for the Web, the move by AT&T seems understandable, as 2G doesnít come anywhere near the download and upload speeds of 3G or 4G. Additionally, support for 2G networks is not really on every phone companyís mind nowadays. Phone companies are upgrading their handsets with newer 3G and 4G network chips, which give us download and upload speeds closer to those that we get on our home Wi-Fi networks.

    By 2017, there is an adequate chance we might start seeing the next new revolution in cellular network technology; even beyond 4G. When this time comes, we will probably be looking back at 3G the way we look at 2G today.

    Sources: The Wall Street Journal
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T to Put End to 2G (Edge) Network By 2017 started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 20 Comments
    1. soidroidios's Avatar
      soidroidios -
      Well, it is still a long way off. Hopefully they can increase the coverage of their signal by focusing on 3g and above. 2g should have died already, but glad to see that it is finally en route.
    1. jwil736's Avatar
      jwil736 -
      Hah. Look how long it took them to get descent 3G coverage... FFS maybe they'll have descent LTE coverage by then.
    1. MXCO's Avatar
      MXCO -
      By 2017 I'm assuming 3G will feel as slow as 2G... Cause public wifi is increasing and so is 4G and what not.
    1. wcbardwell's Avatar
      wcbardwell -
      I am part of that 12% 98% of the time despite being an avid iPhone updater (I've only skipped the "s" models because I can't justify tiny incremental updates)... 3G coverage does not exist where I live. Although I don't receive the signal for the faster network, I still update for a better device. The nearest reliable 3G signal is over 50 miles from where I live... If AT&T expects customers to continue to pay for service, they'd better not discontinue it before updating it.
    1. baRRy boRRis's Avatar
      baRRy boRRis -
      You do realise that 2G and Edge are different don't you? 2G was launched in 1991, whereas Edge which is 2.75G was launched in 2003.

      The iPhone status bar icon for 2G is a circle, with the icon for Edge being an E.
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by baRRy boRRis View Post
      You do realise that 2G and Edge are different don't you? 2G was launched in 1991, whereas Edge which is 2.75G was launched in 2003.

      The iPhone status bar icon for 2G is a circle, with the icon for Edge being an E.
      Indeed, but it's going bye bye too. Most people aren't going to call it 2.75G. Networks will start at 3G when AT&T makes the change.

      The "O" stands for GPRS, which is 2.5G.
    1. hitekksteff's Avatar
      hitekksteff -
      How did you get this screenshot? Did you just happen too be in an area that had no 3G/4G reception?
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by hitekksteff View Post
      How did you get this screenshot? Did you just happen too be in an area that had no 3G/4G reception?
      Turn off 3G from Settings>General>Cellular.
    1. bradmullins007's Avatar
      bradmullins007 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Bouchard View Post
      Indeed, but it's going bye bye too. Most people aren't going to call it 2.75G. Networks will start at 3G when AT&T makes the change.
      I think the question isn't when they're going to do away with 2g but what exactly do they mean by "doing away with 2g?" I read that they want to sell off their smaller earning markets so that would mean they want to rid themselves of the places without a large population. I live in an area where there is only 2g cellullar but if I travel 10 miles I'm then on 3g. I've had a bad experience with At&t in reference to my home dsl. I called in numerous times due to download speeds as low as 0.03mb on my 6mb package. After a bunch of wasted time I got online and read their internal service documents (the documents they use train their csr's on how to handle a caller) so that I could educate myself and escalate the issue to some higher ups. While reading all of this I found out that at&t planned on selling off a bunch of their smaller markets which is obviously the 2g service areas you were referencing in your article, and they also rate their customer on a scale of their LTV (lifetime value) to the company. If you're an LTV 0 you don't get quality tech support like another customer that's considered an LTV 1,2,3 etc. Furthermore if you threaten to cancel your service as an LTV 0 they won't even TRY to stop you they're trained to allow you to go ahead rather than offer you compensation. It's a fact that the wireless market is changing and the way it looks everyone but the big cities and densely populated areas will be left behind again just like we were when all the isp giants took 500 million to wire the USA for FIOS coast to coast and we didn't get jack! Our tax dollars were used but we got the shaft while the big cities got all the benefits.
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by bradmullins007 View Post
      I think the question isn't when they're going to do away with 2g but what exactly do they mean by "doing away with 2g?" I read that they want to sell off their smaller earning markets so that would mean they want to rid themselves of the places without a large population. I live in an area where there is only 2g cellullar but if I travel 10 miles I'm then on 3g. I've had a bad experience with At&t in reference to my home dsl. I called in numerous times due to download speeds as low as 0.03mb on my 6mb package. After a bunch of wasted time I got online and read their internal service documents (the documents they use train their csr's on how to handle a caller) so that I could educate myself and escalate the issue to some higher ups. While reading all of this I found out that at&t planned on selling off a bunch of their smaller markets which is obviously the 2g service areas you were referencing in your article, and they also rate their customer on a scale of their LTV (lifetime value) to the company. If you're an LTV 0 you don't get quality tech support like another customer that's considered an LTV 1,2,3 etc. Furthermore if you threaten to cancel your service as an LTV 0 they won't even TRY to stop you they're trained to allow you to go ahead rather than offer you compensation. It's a fact that the wireless market is changing and the way it looks everyone but the big cities and densely populated areas will be left behind again just like we were when all the isp giants took 500 million to wire the USA for FIOS coast to coast and we didn't get jack! Our tax dollars were used but we got the shaft while the big cities got all the benefits.
      Good question. According to Wall Street Journal, they want to completely shut it down to make room for future advances. My thoughts would be if you get out of range of their 3G or 2G signal, you would still be able to use data roaming to get a signal from someone else's tower.
    1. hitekksteff's Avatar
      hitekksteff -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Bouchard View Post
      Turn off 3G from Settings>General>Cellular.
      I'm sorry, disregard that. I forgot all about that lol.
    1. bradmullins007's Avatar
      bradmullins007 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Bouchard View Post
      Good question. According to Wall Street Journal, they want to completely shut it down to make room for future advances. My thoughts would be if you get out of range of their 3G or 2G signal, you would still be able to use data roaming to get a signal from someone else's tower.
      They have already sold several areas to other isp companies. I am part of the old Bellsouth area and Bellsouth really kept the service up to date and made the upgrades to keep us wired into the new technology -- they actually invested in their infrastructure. However, since At&t took control of it there's not been one single upgrade. I also just read that at&t is virtually done with it's U-verse roll out so if you don't have U-verse now you won't be getting any upgrades in the future. They turned down 115 million in taxpayer money to make upgrades they aren't interested in upgrading they're interested in pricing their data higher. I read a lot about this on a site called stopthecap(dot)com. I suggest you all read about their criminal business.
    1. HorizonXIV's Avatar
      HorizonXIV -
      please, may you send a link to that wallpaper ? i love the texture and the color
    1. sane's Avatar
      sane -
      Quote Originally Posted by soidroidios View Post
      Well, it is still a long way off. Hopefully they can increase the coverage of their signal by focusing on 3g and above. 2g should have died already, but glad to see that it is finally en route.
      All this really means is that AT&T are using their current towers and upgrading them instead of adding to their already inadequate network.
      Awesome AT&T, you never change. Literally.
    1. shaith's Avatar
      shaith -
      Quote Originally Posted by soidroidios View Post
      Well, it is still a long way off. Hopefully they can increase the coverage of their signal by focusing on 3g and above. 2g should have died already, but glad to see that it is finally en route.
      I'd be happy to be getting 2G speeds out of AT&T - I'm in Houston and get .34 mbps down, and .03 mbps up (tested 1 min ago)
    1. redstar299's Avatar
      redstar299 -
      How AT&T can call their "4G" network 4G is a complete joke. It's so slow compared to LTE
    1. bbillh77's Avatar
      bbillh77 -
      Now they are gonna take the coverage I can get Is its at&t's goal to make sure we only have wifi coverage
    1. Durz0's Avatar
      Durz0 -
      I'll miss not having my battery drain so much from 4g all day... I'll miss you edge network...

      *Yes i use edge on my 4s via NCsettings(4s has no turn off 4g option[3g for 4&below])
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by redstar299 View Post
      How AT&T can call their "4G" network 4G is a complete joke. It's so slow compared to LTE
      AT&T has LTE. I'm confused as to whether you're talking about their LTE or HSPA+ 4G network, both of which are legally defined as 4G.
    1. revengewtc's Avatar
      revengewtc -
      Quote Originally Posted by soidroidios View Post
      Well, it is still a long way off. Hopefully they can increase the coverage of their signal by focusing on 3g and above. 2g should have died already, but glad to see that it is finally en route.
      If we lose 2G, doesn't that mean we will no longer be able to make a cell phone call AND access the data network at the same time? ATT was the last (in US) to be able to do both simultaneously.