AT&T to Phase Out 2G
AT&T last week said it is shutting down its second-generation, or 2G, wireless networks by 2017 as it continues to upgrade its systems to faster technology and better use its limited airwaves.
The telecom giant said about 12% of its contract wireless customers, or roughly 8.4 million people are still using 2G handsets, but it will work “proactively” to move them to more advanced devices. Like the other major carriers, AT&T’s customers mostly use phones with 3G, or third-generation, technology, and it is aggressively rolling out a nationwide 4G network.
AT&T’s analog cellular system (1G) used the AMPS system, introduced in the mid ’80s. AT&T first introduced digital in their 2G network in the early 1990′s, using GSM to digizize voice. 3G networks added much faster data channels using UMTS. Its 4G network upgrade, using LTE data services, began rolling out last September. According to the ITU, the next step, LTE Advanced should really be reserved for the official “4G” standard.
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