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AT&T to start shuttering down it's EDGE network


legion125

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I guess with the failure of the T-Mobile venture, AT&T had to take a hard look at itself an decide to use its abundant supply of spectrum more wisely.

 

http://www.phonearen...network_id27621

 

 

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?

Edited by S4GRU
To conform with S4GRU Quotation Guidelines
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It will be interesting to see how AT&T handles this. I'm sure they will use the velvet glove approach until they get close to their imposed deadline. 3-4 years from now when the carriers start to transition to VoLTE so they can refarm their spectrum, you'll see the same thing happen again and again.

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Quoting from the original article found on GigaOM:

 

1st Update.An AT&T spokesperson told us that the letters are going out only to customers in New York and only a small group of them at that. Whatever AT&T’s plans are for its nationwide 2G network, it’s starting off conservatively. The spokesman also said it is offering each of those customers a free 3G device, so AT&T appears to being taking the carrot, rather than the stick, approach to migrating its customers away from 2G-only phones.

 

2nd Update. A quick search of the AT&T retail site revealed that the carrier is still selling 2G-only devices, the Samsung a777 and the AT&T Z221. Both are among the most budget of the budget category in its GoPhone prepaid line, and the vast majority of its prepaid — and all of its postpaid — phones are 3G. But generally it’s bad form to tell one customer his 2G service is going to degrade while trying to sell a different customer a 2G-only device.

 

I guess I'm not surprised that at&t is going that route now with the old 2G services. At least it will be forcing them to upgrade the rest of their service footprint with 3G.

Edited by Macinjosh
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Its about time that AT&T do the smart thing a boot all 2G customers to free up additional spectrum for LTE instead of trying to hoard spectrum. There is absolutely no reason to have customers still on 2G customers. I am so glad that Sprint is finally giving the boot to all iDEN customers. There is absolutely no reason to have iDEN anymore.

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