AT&T is certainly thinking ahead as they revealed in an SEC filing today that they plan to shut down their 2G data network by 2017. That spectrum will then be redeployed to serve the dual purpose of improving network performance on 3G and 4G and helping to reduce the need for more spectrum capacity. The shutdown should be completed by January 1, 2017 and AT&T says that they’re planning to “proactively” try to move existing 2G customers to 3G and 4G networks before the shutdown is complete. At the end of June, about 12% of AT&T’s postpaid network subscribers were still on 2G devices.
This sounds like a smart move by AT&T as they work to enhance and expand their new 4G LTE network. 2G customers are dropping by the day and T-Mobile has already started this same process as they refarm their 2G network to enhance their 3G and 4G networks. AT&T hasn’t yet disclosed their strategy for switching 2G customers but it’ll probably include a nice prize for them to switch to 3G and 4G networks. Do you know anyone who’s an AT&T 2G customer?