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AT&T Shutting Down 2G Network By 2017


4GHoward
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AT&T is planning to shut down their 2G Network by 2017.

 

AT&T said the transition away from Global System for Mobile Communications, or GSM, and Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution, or EDGE, will be on market-by-market basis. Service on the networks will be fully discontinued by about Jan. 1, 2017.

 

http://www.marketwat...2017-2012-08-03

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AT&T should be forced to shut down way sooner than that. They should move everyone to at least HSPA+ by now. Too bad the FCC or some body can tell AT&T to shut down sooner. I would have given AT&T by end of 2015 to shut down 2G.

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AT&T should be forced to shut down way sooner than that. They should move everyone to at least HSPA+ by now. Too bad the FCC or some body can tell AT&T to shut down sooner. I would have given AT&T by end of 2015 to shut down 2G.

 

I don't think the FCC should tell them they cannot operate a 2G network that does have users on it. But maybe the FCC could say that if you have available spectrum that could be better utilized, you cannot bid on new spectrum.

 

Robert via CM9 Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

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AT&T should be forced to shut down way sooner than that. They should move everyone to at least HSPA+ by now. Too bad the FCC or some body can tell AT&T to shut down sooner. I would have given AT&T by end of 2015 to shut down 2G.

I don't think the FCC should tell them they cannot operate a 2G network that does have users on it. But maybe the FCC could say that if you have available spectrum that could be better utilized, you cannot bid on new spectrum.

 

Robert is absolutely correct. The FCC does not need to impose a 2G GSM/GPRS/EDGE shutdown; market forces will eventually take care of that. But the FCC may actually seek to slow down the 2G sunset if the 2017 date would unduly harm AT&T's roaming partners -- many of which are small GSM only carriers. For roaming, GSM is still the lowest common denominator in the 3GPP camp, just as CDMA1X is on the 3GPP2 side.

 

AJ

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Robert is absolutely correct. The FCC does not need to impose a 2G GSM/GPRS/EDGE shutdown; market forces will eventually take care of that. But the FCC may actually seek to slow down the 2G sunset if the 2017 date would unduly harm AT&T's roaming partners -- many of which are small GSM only carriers. For roaming, GSM is still the lowest common denominator in the 3GPP camp, just as CDMA1X is on the 3GPP2 side.

 

AJ

 

Are you talking about roaming partners such as TracFone Wireless?

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Are you talking about roaming partners such as TracFone Wireless?

 

Yes and no. TracFone is not a roaming partner; it is an MVNO. But AT&T roaming partners include many small, rural, GSM only carriers, such as Plateau Wireless, Viaero Wireless, Cellular One of Northeast Arizona, et al.

 

AJ

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As clarification, at least Viaero has their own 3G+ network these days (Viaero is running HSPA+). However AT&T has been unwilling to ink a roaming agreement with Viaero for data with anywhere near reasonable costs. Oh, and such an agreement would also include access to T's 3G network, which I believe Viaero can't access now.

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As clarification, at least Viaero has their own 3G+ network these days (Viaero is running HSPA+).

 

Unless you have more current info, Viaero has overlaid W-CDMA only on a limited portion of its footprint (southern Colorado), and this is a very recent development. Additionally, I am uncertain that Viaero has sufficient spectrum to extend W-CDMA across its entire footprint in Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas. Thus, I still consider Viaero to be primarily a GSM only carrier.

 

AJ

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One more thought on Viaero. I am just waiting for the day that AT&T inevitably acquires it for Viaero's substantial Nebraska footprint. AT&T's Nebraska coverage is notably paltry -- pecking order in the state is 1) VZW ahead by a mile because of its Alltel acquisition, 2) USCC, 3) Sprint, 4) AT&T, 5) Cricket, and 6) T-Mobile, which maintains a ghost network in Omaha but does not actually offer local service in the state. Viaero may have as much areal coverage in the state as VZW does, but Viaero does not make the pecking order because it lacks spectrum to offer native service in Omaha and Lincoln -- the only two cities that really matter.

 

AJ

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Unless you have more current info, Viaero has overlaid W-CDMA only on a limited portion of its footprint (southern Colorado), and this is a very recent development. Additionally, I am uncertain that Viaero has sufficient spectrum to extend W-CDMA across its entire footprint in Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas. Thus, I still consider Viaero to be primarily a GSM only carrier.

 

AJ

 

No, that sounds about right. They're PCS-only in NE, right? Just one 5x5 license in those areas, or something more? Haven't looked into them much, though I did talk to one of their techs at a job fair last year, before they had gotten rolling with H+.

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No, that sounds about right. They're PCS-only in NE, right?

 

That is mostly correct. However, Viaero (under its NE Colorado Cellular name) does hold several Cellular A-side 25 MHz licenses that I am almost certain it acquired as claims on Cellular unserved area in AT&TWS (the previous AT&T Wireless) and WWC (Western Wireless, before it was acquired by Alltel) licensed markets. One of those licenses in Elbert County is now right on the edge of suburban Denver, as the Parker area has grown up over the last few decades. I am sure that AT&T would like to get back that Cellular 850 MHz spectrum and licensed area.

 

 

central_A.gif

 

The Cellular A-side map above is from a series of licensed spectrum maps that a collaborator and I put together nearly 10 years ago. Some of the maps have been updated periodically, while some have not. So, some are partly out of date. But this one does accurately depict Viaero's Cellular A-side partitions.

 

Additionally, AT&T and Viaero have been fighting it out at the FCC for roughly five years over who gets to acquire Indigo Wireless' neglected Cellular A-side 25 MHz license and market in the Nebraska panhandle. See the license and pending applications:

 

http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/license.jsp?licKey=12155

 

AJ

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