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The Big 2G And 3G Switch Off

Time to ditch that brick ...


Posted by Pritesh Ganatra on 12/09/2023 @ 8:00AM

You may remember that in some of my previous blog posts, I spoke about Openreach’s plan to switch off the PSTN network in 2025. Alongside this, the mobile networks have been planning to switch off 2G and 3G phone services ...

Not everyone has a modern 4G or 5G smartphone! Older mobiles will be disconnected soon!

Not everyone has a modern 4G or 5G smartphone! Older mobiles will be disconnected soon!

copyright: georgejmclittle / 123rf

Whilst the vast majority of mobile phone users now have 4G and 5G using smart devices from Apple and the myriad of manufacturers who build phones using the Android operating system, it's estimated that there are still 5.5 million people with non-smart 'brick' phones that are only compatible with 2G (voice) and 3G (data) transmission signalling.

"The date for the legacy mobile mast switch-off?"

You guessed it, 2025! However, that's on O2. Vodafone has already announced that in Glasgow, 2/3G will be phased out starting by early 2024! Folks, we are going to be digitised; I want to be virtualised and ride around in a video game like in the original TRON movie!

What we term as a 'brick' phone is basically the old Nokia-style handset. There are millions of users who do not have smartphones so the chipsets are not designed to pick up 4G signals. A lot of voice actually goes via the data network, especially now with the rise of calling via an App such as What's App. The voice transmission is effectively VoIP.

Having one of the earliest mobile network systems (from a global perspective), 2G has been around since the 1970s in terms of analogue transmission, before the SIM card-based GSM system arrived in the mid-90s. I was there at the beginning, having started to sell Mobile Technology in 1993 (no ChatGPT required and yes, I'm that old!)

As we upgrade the landline infrastructure, by the very nature of the beast, mobile phone masts are served with better capacity (as each mast has to have a transit to the landline network) so our cellular infrastructure has naturally been able to develop masts that can send and receive data at higher and higher rates.

I regularly test this by opening a random selection of videos from all over the internet to check if there is any lag and buffering like in the old (landline) ADSL days. I can safely say that in the main, 4G allows steaming very well these days!

"A word of caution though. Don't run your business
solely from a mobile phone!"

It's not a good habit. Mainly I'm saying this from a health perspective. My eyes have got worse looking at emails on my phone. I just dread to think what it is going to be like for the younger generation who seem to be glued to a screen for what seems a long time.

For businesses who may have the older 3G data dongles, it's worth looking at an alternative solution as products have evolved considerably in the pocket WiFi space.

Find a good independent consultant who knows the market place and they will be able to advise your business accordingly as to who the movers and shakers are in the Telecoms arena.

Know of anyone who uses a non-smart phone? Check it's going to work in 2025.

Until next time ...



Would you like to know more?

If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about the 2G and 3G switch off, it may be a great idea to call me on 01604 926100 or take a look at my website which you can find here.

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About Pritesh Ganatra ...


The word 'Technology' has too many connotations in today's world!

Where do we start? Simple terms like 'IT' and 'Telecoms'? or terms that appear NOT to have an actual meaning at all!, e.g. 'Internet of Things (IoT).

Technology also encompasses specialist products and services like 'Rugged' and 'Tough' android devices, Lone Worker Software, panic alarm devices, smart energy devices, low energy lighting, credit card terminal (PCI DSS) security, indoor/ outdoor Wi-Fi systems, Ultrafast Gigabit internet connectivity, access control systems, industrial IoT circuit controllers.

BTS UK can consult from simple solutions to the most complex, provide some of the products through a wholesale channel, bring together a multi-disciplined 'Task Force' to deliver and implement complete Technology 'projects'.

I am your technology problem solver and I look forward to helping you.


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