Is AT&T getting ready to close out its 2G network?

Is AT&T getting ready to close out its 2G network?
As a result of its inability to grab new spectrum with the failure of the T-Mobile purchase, AT&T is telling its 2G customers to switch to 3G or 4G handsets. The letter says that 2G voice quality will soon erode and that data speeds will slow down as the carrier moves over to HSPA or LTE spectrum currently assigned for 2G use.

If AT&T finds itself unable to buy addition spectrum for LTE service, this is the game plan that will have to be employed, and it all comes back to the failed attempt to purchase T-Mobile. Speaking of the nation's fourth largest carrier, this is the route that it will have to take as well. In the end, T-Mobile will be left with a small GSM network, but a larger HSPA+ network and a large LTE footprint as big as the ones owned by AT&T and Sprint.

AT&T has a choice of promising an upgrade to 2G users, or threaten that their service will be degraded. The latter is apparently the way the carrier has decided to go to clear out the 2G users so it can re-farm the spectrum. AT&T has a fairly large 2G network with many of the carrier's users having switched to HSPA by 2009. While this plan will not give the carrier all the spectrum it wants, it will give AT&T breathing room to carry all of the data that Apple iPhone owners receive.

If you are an AT&T 2G user, you might not get away without getting spanked by the carrier. When AT&T (then Cingular) shutdown its TDMA network in 2008, it charged those who remained on the network, a $5 a month fee until they switched to a GSM phone. Will history repeat itself?

source: GigaOM



23. Forsaken77

Posts: 553; Member since: Jun 09, 2011

As long as you don't live in the woods or the mountains, you should be good with AT&T. People that live in a reasonably populated area have little problems with them. It's only when you get to the sticks that they suck.

21. JGuinan007

Posts: 699; Member since: May 19, 2011

I live in philadelphia and have no problem with coverage all over south eastern PA, New Jeresy, Delaware and Maryland. My only issue I ever had was with a Cust. Srvc MGR. that wouldn't allow a manual upgrade on my acct that they said was past due I was treated like I was trying to steal from AT&T by her and she kept demanding payment when I hung up with her I was about to cancel my acct. The next day I called again and spoke to a good rep that fixed my issue in 2 minutes and saw that my payment was processing in payment center. It's that one Bad cust rep that causes isssues for AT&T. Other than that I have always been happy with them and I was with them back in the Cingular days.

12. joey18

Posts: 697; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

Metro pcs is 2g network they say 4g but who b that

18. codymws

Posts: 237; Member since: Jun 17, 2010

Metro PCS is mostly 2G (1xRTT), but they have LTE in some areas.

11. twenti7

Posts: 152; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

A couple weeks ago my store's AT&T rep suggested something like this may happen. AT&T still doesn't have any 3G service in my area (western Wisconsin), and his higher-ups told him in so many words that rather than the network here ever getting 3G, the only network upgrade that we'll be seeing is LTE. Unfortunately for us, that probably won't be anytime soon.

10. ap1989

Posts: 145; Member since: Oct 12, 2011

at&t sucks with the spotty 3g data map

9. codymws

Posts: 237; Member since: Jun 17, 2010

EDGE or GPRS? Either way, that would be really stupid, because I know alot of people in my area who switch between EDGE and 3G on AT&T...


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

OMG, it's the only bandwidth they have that actually works without MicroCell Towers; this would be a bad move.

6. yooperboogs

Posts: 15; Member since: Dec 10, 2011

The whole U.P. pretty much except Marquette Michigan is still on 2G or Edge whatever you wanna call it.


Posts: 316; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

That's the plan they should use for its LTE instead of buying Tmo cuz 2G is gonna be useless very soon, and the cost of transition will be cheapper then spend 39 billion.....!!!!!

4. tward291

Posts: 559; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

tmobile will have to go this route soon. they just dont want to piss off there coustomers like they have been doing

3. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

What is 2G? Honestly, and how many people still use it, if any?

15. redrooster13

Posts: 110; Member since: Feb 20, 2012

People who don't live in the city. I'm on 2g or "Edge" 70 percent of the time. Luckily we actually have a 3g tower where I live but there is not any more for at least 45 miles. 2g is probably 65 percent of Att coverage across the US.

2. Jyakotu

Posts: 868; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

Interesting to note that AT&T and T-Mobile both may have to phase out it's 2G network in favor of their 3G networks. Many people think AT&T doesn't invest in their network, but they actually spend more than any other network on its network. Who really knows how many customers still use the 2G network (probably the GoPhone users), but I'll be keeping a close eye on this story. Things aren't looking good for the GSM carriers of the US.

8. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

"they actually spend more than any other network on its network." You don't really believe that do you? You can't invest heavily in your network and still have the coverage that AT&T has right now.

13. Jyakotu

Posts: 868; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

Uh, AT&T has about the same coverage area as Verizon so what are you talking about.? AT&T has invested BILLIONS into their network. People hate on AT&T for no reason. I live in the largest city in NC and both Verizon AND AT&T have the best service. Sprint has horrible service and T-Mobile actually fairs a bit better than Sprint. Even right now, Sprint's network is having issues and I don't know why. However, my friends on Verizon and AT&T are using their phones just fine.

14. DanMarino13

Posts: 63; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

AT&T has about the same coverage as major cities and major highways. Go anywhere rural and you have yourself a nice portable media player.T-Mobile has the worst coverage of anyone, Sprint is too bogged down on their network for data to be anywhere near "fast"

25. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Over all coverage map goes like this 1)VZW 2) Sprint Tie Tmobile/ATT. I hate to tell u this, but ATT advertises themselves as a premium brand, but they are not. If it werent for their long exclusivity with the iphone, they would be closer to sprint in customers than to verizon. VZW had more gains then them, even without the iphone. No one spends more on their network than VZW for upkeep and expansion. You pay a premium on VZW because u really do get the best service. You pay a premium on ATT for the iphone. Now that the iphone is nearly universal, you pay a premium on ATT... umm.. why do you pay a premium on ATT? Oh yea, because people THINK its premium service when its not. Perception is everything. Just like you perceived Tmobile to be the worst by far when it most clearly is not. There will always be spots where one network outshines the other, but as far as the whole map goes, ATT doesnt have anything on VZW (even though they count their roaming agreements in their map, which VZW does not normally do). ATT isnt shutting down their 2g networks, thats still the bulk of their map. They may be converting it to 3g finally, which is great, since they have the smallest 3g/4g footprint of all 4 major carriers.

16. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

It will take AT&T 10 years and about $50 Billion for AT&T to have the Verizon's 2001 coverage. Like Dan said, they are good in some major cities. But even here in Chicago, AT&T just doesn't cut it. But with VZW, I can ride the subways and still get 4 bars. And it's AT&T's own customers that keep voting them as the worst carrier. It sounds like they have great coverage where you are, but the rest of the country isn't so lucky. One thing I will give AT&T though, they have the biggest selection of phones in the industry.

17. Jyakotu

Posts: 868; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

Then those AT&T customers need to leave the network if they're so unhappy with its services. The great thing about America is that there are SO MANY OTHER OPTIONS.!!! If those customers who are rating AT&T as the worst carrier leaves, then I'm sure the network would be relieved. But no, they continue to stay and pay for AT&T and their services. Hate on AT&T all you want, the FACTS are that AT&T has invested billions of dollars into its network and continues to do so.!

19. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Now I can definintly agree with you their. I would think if the service is that bad, that people would just leave AT&T. I have a friend that hated her AT&T iPhone's lack of service, but instead of signing with VZW, she upgraded to the 4S with AT&T again! And she complains more then ever. When I said she should have just went with VZW, all she could say was "I knowwww". But don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on AT&T. I'm just saying they could do much better than they have been doing. VZW invest an average of $5.7 billion every year on their network. That's more than any other carrier in the US. So there is no doubt VZW has the best coverage and no one is even coming close to it. Not even with the roaming agreements. But like we both agreed, it doesn't make sense to complain about the service, coverage, etc... But then sign up for another two years.

20. DanMarino13

Posts: 63; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

Jyakotu, i wasn't disputing the fact that AT&T has put a lot of money into their network to make it have better coverage, because you are right on that point, I've seen the maps that show their coverage 3 years ago compared to today. I was merely disputing the point you made about AT&T having nearly the same coverage as Verizon, because it's just plain false. Come to Iowa and try saying that one more time.

22. omarc26

Posts: 360; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

well coverage depends on were you live ever since i switched to verizon for the droid razr max a month ago i experienced crappier reception on verizon in los angeles were i live my razr becomes a paperwight in the metro gold line, red line, purple line wen the trains go underground yes we do have subway trains in LA. While at&t always had 2-4 bars UNDERGROUND in a moving train. So it sucks i cant go on FB or check my email on the long train ride to hollywood while the train is underground while wen i had at&t i had no problem cuz apparently for some magic reason at&t worked underground.. and no i never talked in the subway even tho i was able to do it on at&t i only used the internet which is something i cant do on verizon no data or calls work on verizon.

24. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

I agree. There are places when one has service and the other doesn't and vice versa. But there isn't any disputing that VZW has the best network. That's all I was trying to get across.

1. LoneShaolin

Posts: 307; Member since: Jan 14, 2012

They be f**king up. And first

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