Author Topic: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries  (Read 935 times)

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Offline hozuculeni

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I've heard some country are disabling 2G and/or 3G for cellphones to make more room for 4G and 5G. Right now on a 4G phone, if the signal is not good, it will fall back to 3G or 2G, so does that mean after their shutting down, users will not have any signal in that situation?
Or does it work like Wifi, that will just slow down to a different rate?(802.11n will not switch to 802.11g even if the signal is weak.) If it's true, why current phones will switch to 3G or 2G on weak signal?
 

Offline LapTop006

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2019, 12:57:22 pm »
I've heard some country are disabling 2G and/or 3G for cellphones to make more room for 4G and 5G. Right now on a 4G phone, if the signal is not good, it will fall back to 3G or 2G, so does that mean after their shutting down, users will not have any signal in that situation?

Unless the carriers improve their footprint, yes. Good carriers review cases where (say) 4G phones are on 3G or 2G cells as locations for fixes, in the same way they monitor for dead spots.

Or does it work like Wifi, that will just slow down to a different rate?(802.11n will not switch to 802.11g even if the signal is weak.) If it's true, why current phones will switch to 3G or 2G on weak signal?

No. Unlike wifi, each protocol is distinct. UMTS (the main 3G standard) is actually better than 2G (GSM) for reach, LTE is apparently similar, although I haven't researched LTE as much.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2019, 02:46:35 pm »
I'm under the impression that the 2G/3G phaseout is done by upgrading equipment on older cell towers, so there would be 4G/5G coverage where 2G/3G used to be.
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Online Benta

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2019, 06:31:05 pm »
What I have heard is, that 2G will survive, simply because so many industrial applications (and those have a long life time) depend on it. Remote metering for instance, and we're talking hundreds of millions of installations here (power, water, heating etc.).
3G and 4G have an expiry date, exactly when is anyone's guess.

« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 06:33:56 pm by Benta »
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2019, 06:35:21 pm »
What I have read is, that 2G will survive, simply because so many industrial applications depend on it. Remote metering for instance, and we're talking multimillions of installations here.
3G and 4G have an expiry date, when is open.

Japan has completely eradicated 2G. Before I bought my current dual SIM phone, I used to have a smartphone with my 4G card, and a traditional phone with 2G only.
The 2G phone stopped working in Japan, and after some Googling I found out they killed off 2G.

Similarly, in many urban areas in China, 2G is no longer available, with 3G being the fallback of 4G and 5G.

https://www.emnify.com/blog/global-2g-phase-out
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 06:38:10 pm by blueskull »
 
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Offline nali

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2019, 06:54:06 pm »
Vodafone UK have been reported as planning on withdrawing 3G in the next 2-3 years but leaving 2G for now -

https://www.pocket-lint.com/phones/news/vodafone/148297-vodafone-we-ll-switch-off-3g-in-the-next-two-to-three-years

Quote
“In the medium term, we will be switching off 3G, because the use of the 3G band and what we get in return is not that efficient so we can use some of the 3G spectrum bands for 5G. Then we don't have to waste higher frequency, like the US are using the millimetre wave (mmWave)...we can use the low band which is more efficient.

“We don't have a date. We're working on a plan, next two to three years.”

As with other UK 5G networks, Vodafone’s 5G spectrum is in the low to medium band – below 1Ghz for coverage (700, 800, 900Mhz) and 3.4Ghz for capacity. Vodafone also has other bands for 4G, of course.

Dona says there are several pre-requisites to switching off 3G, notably the migration of customers from voice over 3G to voice over LTE (on 4G). “The switching off of 3G is a very complex program because you have to ensure that all your handsets in the market are of a certain type, that they are all enabled for 4G. We need to ensure that where we are providing 3G coverage in certain areas, that will be replaced by 5G or 5G.

But what about 2G? “2G is an interesting one,” Dona says. “2G will have a longer lifetime, a longer role to play, especially when it comes to the Internet of Things [like smart meters, for example] where you actually don't need speed, you don't need the capacity, you just need it to be ticking away in the background with low power…it doesn't make economic sense to go out and change these devices.”

Dona was asked if he could see all four UK mobile networks sharing spectrum on 2G. “Yeah I could see that absolutely…where you have a common 2G layer that just ticks along in the background.

I spoke to someone in EE's corporate sales a while ago who wouldn't give details but basically said there's not much point to 3G nowdays, whereas there are zillions of industrial/embedded devices that still rely on 2G and will continue to do so for quite some time.
 

Online Benta

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2019, 09:54:59 pm »
What I have read is, that 2G will survive, simply because so many industrial applications depend on it. Remote metering for instance, and we're talking multimillions of installations here.
3G and 4G have an expiry date, when is open.

Japan has completely eradicated 2G. Before I bought my current dual SIM phone, I used to have a smartphone with my 4G card, and a traditional phone with 2G only.
The 2G phone stopped working in Japan, and after some Googling I found out they killed off 2G.

Similarly, in many urban areas in China, 2G is no longer available, with 3G being the fallback of 4G and 5G.

https://www.emnify.com/blog/global-2g-phase-out

blueskull, interesting link which confirms a suspicion I had: due to the early definition and adoption of GSM technology in Europe, the penetration of 2G in industrial networks is much deeper here.
This leads to the 2G networks surviving in Europe, while 3G and 4G will probably disappear in a few years. Thanks for the link.

 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2019, 10:13:43 pm »
Is 2G same as CDMA or is that a totally different thing?  I do know that recently they shut down CDMA here.  The equipment that runs it takes about 3 rows of telco racks so it would be interesting to see once they physically shut that down.  The HSPA stuff is much smaller and more efficient.

The good thing about CDMA though is that it had longer range.  Onstar used it for a long time because of that and they even paid us to keep it running for a few extra years.

I think you need a totally different phone for CDMA though, like mostly the old flip phones used that.  If you have a modern phone it will be using HSPA.  I've never seen mine say 2G, always 3G, or LTE.
 

Online langwadt

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2019, 10:24:45 pm »
Vodafone UK have been reported as planning on withdrawing 3G in the next 2-3 years but leaving 2G for now -

https://www.pocket-lint.com/phones/news/vodafone/148297-vodafone-we-ll-switch-off-3g-in-the-next-two-to-three-years

Quote
“In the medium term, we will be switching off 3G, because the use of the 3G band and what we get in return is not that efficient so we can use some of the 3G spectrum bands for 5G. Then we don't have to waste higher frequency, like the US are using the millimetre wave (mmWave)...we can use the low band which is more efficient.

“We don't have a date. We're working on a plan, next two to three years.”

As with other UK 5G networks, Vodafone’s 5G spectrum is in the low to medium band – below 1Ghz for coverage (700, 800, 900Mhz) and 3.4Ghz for capacity. Vodafone also has other bands for 4G, of course.

Dona says there are several pre-requisites to switching off 3G, notably the migration of customers from voice over 3G to voice over LTE (on 4G). “The switching off of 3G is a very complex program because you have to ensure that all your handsets in the market are of a certain type, that they are all enabled for 4G. We need to ensure that where we are providing 3G coverage in certain areas, that will be replaced by 5G or 5G.

But what about 2G? “2G is an interesting one,” Dona says. “2G will have a longer lifetime, a longer role to play, especially when it comes to the Internet of Things [like smart meters, for example] where you actually don't need speed, you don't need the capacity, you just need it to be ticking away in the background with low power…it doesn't make economic sense to go out and change these devices.”

Dona was asked if he could see all four UK mobile networks sharing spectrum on 2G. “Yeah I could see that absolutely…where you have a common 2G layer that just ticks along in the background.

I spoke to someone in EE's corporate sales a while ago who wouldn't give details but basically said there's not much point to 3G nowdays, whereas there are zillions of industrial/embedded devices that still rely on 2G and will continue to do so for quite some time.

here I believe the pager network also survived for a long time because it was used for all kinds of thing like streetlights

 

Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2019, 10:32:15 pm »
I'm under the impression that the 2G/3G phaseout is done by upgrading equipment on older cell towers, so there would be 4G/5G coverage where 2G/3G used to be.

I walked to a cafe a couple of weeks ago, it was raining and across the road there were a lot of men working there in some green cabinets near a mobile tower and they had umbrellas surround it.

The men came into the cafe and they said they were upgrading it to 4G.
 

Online Benta

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2019, 10:42:36 pm »
Is 2G same as CDMA or is that a totally different thing?

CDMA, or more correctly CDMA2000 is 3G.
GSM is 2G.

GSM was introduced in the early 90s and very quickly became the digital mobile phone standard in Europe.
North America was still wanking around with analog mobile phone systems and pagers from I don't know how many providers (the "market", yeah I know) and it took another 10 years in NA to get something working.

« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 10:53:46 pm by Benta »
 

Offline Someone

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2019, 07:01:48 am »
Is 2G same as CDMA or is that a totally different thing?

CDMA, or more correctly CDMA2000 is 3G.
GSM is 2G.

GSM was introduced in the early 90s and very quickly became the digital mobile phone standard in Europe.
North America was still wanking around with analog mobile phone systems and pagers from I don't know how many providers (the "market", yeah I know) and it took another 10 years in NA to get something working.
Some countries had CDMA used as "2G":
https://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/mobile_phone_frequencies

I've heard some country are disabling 2G and/or 3G for cellphones to make more room for 4G and 5G. Right now on a 4G phone, if the signal is not good, it will fall back to 3G or 2G, so does that mean after their shutting down, users will not have any signal in that situation?
See above link, Australia has already closed the GSM network and is working to shutdown 3G. All the connected appliances just get cutoff, some high end cars had GSM connectivity for roadside assistance or service which simply stopped functioning.

Or does it work like Wifi, that will just slow down to a different rate?(802.11n will not switch to 802.11g even if the signal is weak.) If it's true, why current phones will switch to 3G or 2G on weak signal?
Most mobile technology stacks include several ways to degrade gracefully, and will drop back to slower (more reliable) rates. At some point the quality would have been better from the wider and less sensitive 2G/3G bands so band swapping could seem very aggressive.
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2019, 07:13:11 am »
I'm under the impression that the 2G/3G phaseout is done by upgrading equipment on older cell towers, so there would be 4G/5G coverage where 2G/3G used to be.
2G and 3G have a better range than 4G and 5G, so a tower by tower replacement is inevitably going to lead to worse reception. That's pretty much the problem in a nutshell. In cities then can put towers all over the place and have high speeds with great density. In more sparsely occupied areas that's not economical so you'll run into trouble quicker.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2019, 06:52:56 am »
I've heard some country are disabling 2G and/or 3G for cellphones to make more room for 4G and 5G. Right now on a 4G phone, if the signal is not good, it will fall back to 3G or 2G, so does that mean after their shutting down, users will not have any signal in that situation?
Or does it work like Wifi, that will just slow down to a different rate?(802.11n will not switch to 802.11g even if the signal is weak.) If it's true, why current phones will switch to 3G or 2G on weak signal?

You'll find with the shut down, coverage might actually improve as carriers upgrade the cell sites. In Australia, the last of the 2G services were shut down in June 2018. Of course this meant that those with 2G-only handsets would need to purchase new hardware or if there were legacy devices still in use like lift or fire alarms, they needed to be upgraded. I don't know of any cell sites that were 2G-only, which meant those with 3G/4G capable devices would still work in those areas. Some of our 4G/LTE sites operate at 700 and 850 MHz, which generally means further coverage for the same power level.

But yes, if the signal isn't strong enough to maintain the minimum speeds required on 4G/LTE, you'll find your phone will drop back to UMTS (3G) or HSPA (3.5G) to maintain a connection.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 06:54:52 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2019, 07:10:48 am »
In Australia, 2G was turned off some time ago, and 1 of the 3G bands was turned off back in april with more set to go in late 2020 - mid 2021,

3G however I feel will cause a lot more grief and complaints from industrial customers, when 2G was shut off, a 3G industrial modem was $150 in bulk, and a 4G modem was $520 in bulk, I suspect quite a few large companies had to do incremental rollouts in the leading few months to newer modems and went with the cheaper ones, meaning they only recently bought brand new 3G modems with no notice on how long that network would remain when they did the upgrade.

E.g most small businesses use a commonwealth "Albert" EFTPOS terminal that uses the mobile network, every single one of them shipped with a 3G modem, I know that atleast 90% of the tracking systems used in Aus for buses and trucks are still selling new units with a 3G only modem, and those 4G modems still haven't gotten much cheaper.
 

Offline Yansi

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2019, 07:37:52 am »
Yes, we definitely and badly need the new 5G networks in our country (they also plan to shutdown 2G/3G), so we can browse out our 1GByte internet data limits per month for $25.

3G is all what suffices our phone tariffs.
 

Offline ju1ce

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2019, 09:17:28 am »
Or does it work like Wifi, that will just slow down to a different rate?(802.11n will not switch to 802.11g even if the signal is weak.) If it's true, why current phones will switch to 3G or 2G on weak signal?

No. Unlike wifi, each protocol is distinct. UMTS (the main 3G standard) is actually better than 2G (GSM) for reach, LTE is apparently similar, although I haven't researched LTE as much.
If the signal-to-noise ratio gets worse, wouldn't the base station be able to change the modulation which decreases the connection speed but improves the robustness?
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2019, 10:32:59 am »
Is 2G same as CDMA or is that a totally different thing?

CDMA, or more correctly CDMA2000 is 3G.
GSM is 2G.
Not exactly.

The original CDMA standard (IS-95 aka cdmaOne) was a 2G technology released in 1995.

The second CDMA standard (CDMA2000 1xRTT), first deployed in 2002, is officially 3G, but is arguably better called a 2.5-2.9G technology due to its unremarkable data rates, while the CDMA2000 EVDO extensions are definitely a 3G technology.

GSM was introduced in the early 90s and very quickly became the digital mobile phone standard in Europe.
North America was still wanking around with analog mobile phone systems and pagers from I don't know how many providers (the "market", yeah I know) and it took another 10 years in NA to get something working.
That’s a rather inaccurate, biased way to put it.

The original American networks didn’t really rely on analog (AMPS) for too much longer than European ones (NMT, TACS, etc.). With few exceptions, though, they didn’t move to GSM, but to Digital AMPS, which was an easy upgrade path that coexisted well with AMPS, which the big carriers in USA were required to support until 2002. But because of some extremely rural areas which were only served by AMPS, some AMPS hung around until 2008. But bear in mind that the carriers introduced D-AMPS in 1993 (just one year after GSM began to be rolled out), and that other than in the aforementioned very rural areas, everyone was on digital by the mid-90s. Because of the AMPS compatibility requirement for the big networks, only smaller networks jumped on board with GSM or CDMA initially, since they were totally distinct networks. But by around 2000, all the networks were migrating from D-AMPS to CDMA or GSM, and pushing existing customers to the new networks wherever possible. But for sure, it’s categorically false to claim that USA took a decade to move to “something working” (i.e. digital); it didn’t. Just because they didn’t move to a digital standard you approve of doesn’t mean they weren’t on digital!

Don’t get me wrong; the US mobile market had, and has, plenty wrong with it. But we don’t need to invent fake claims, either.
 

Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: Questions about cellphone 2G/3G shutting down in some countries
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2019, 08:35:27 pm »
Dont forgett about Iean (or how it spelled) in the US!!!
Quote
Is 2G same as CDMA or is that a totally different thing?  I do know that recently they shut down CDMA here.  The equipment that runs it takes about 3 rows of telco racks so it would be interesting to see once they physically shut that down.  The HSPA stuff is much smaller and more efficient.

The good thing about CDMA though is that it had longer range.  Onstar used it for a long time because of that and they even paid us to keep it running for a few extra years.

I think you need a totally different phone for CDMA though, like mostly the old flip phones used that.  If you have a modern phone it will be using HSPA.  I've never seen mine say 2G, always 3G, or LTE.
Here in Austria the "C Network" who is on ~450Mhz Band is still in use for Metering use and other M2M Stuff (do to there Ads) also for VoIP.
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