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AT&T Says Shutdown of 2G Network On Schedule
by Karl Bode 02:24PM Wednesday Jul 30 2014
Mobeen Khan, AT&T's executive director of M2M product management, says the company's plan to shut down their 2G network by the end of 2016 remains on schedule. AT&T will be refarming that spectrum for eventual use on their 3G and 4G networks. "We have an operational team that is engaged with these customers," Khan tells Fierce Wireless. "It's a closely watched process." Cell phone users are easier to force-upgrade than M2M (machine to machine, or non-phone devices with embedded cellular chipsets) users. AT&T won't state how many 2G M2M users remain connected to their network.

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Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

Has to happen eventually

One cannot just continue to cling to old technology just because a few may still use it. After all if we did that gas stations would still have been selling leaded gas in the 1990s for the handful of people clinging to cars that could not run unleaded. it will not be an easy pill to swallow for embedded users but its something that is going to happen. Technology does move on.
--
Filan - Aurin Spellslinger - Pago - Team Legacy

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: Has to happen eventually

These are mostly contract deals with the companies whose equipment use the network (see: OnStar and the protracted analog and then TDMA shutdown several years ago) so it is hardly a couple of grannies clinging to their 2004 phone here...

ilikeme
I live in a van down by the river.
Premium
join:2002-08-27
Sugar Land, TX
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Vonage

Re: Has to happen eventually

Yea, 2G now is mostly car telematics systems, burgular/fire alarm systems, and people who have not upgraded their basic model phone in about the past 5 years.

Our alarm company, Smith Thompson, upgraded our system to HSPA a few months ago. It also uses our U-Verse landline as a second path.

Imathrowaway

@198.147.225.x
I'm willing to bet money you wouldn't say that if an ISP announced they'd be shutting down their IP network.

Ethernet, TCP, and UDP/IP are all quite older then GSM.

catchingup

@135.23.225.x

Re: Has to happen eventually

said by Imathrowaway :

I'm willing to bet money you wouldn't say that if an ISP announced they'd be shutting down their IP network.

Except this is completely irrelevant to what he said. IP networks won't be going.

Imathrowaway

@198.147.225.x

Re: Has to happen eventually

You're missing my point entirely. Re-read the first sentence he wrote;

"One cannot just continue to cling to old technology just because a few may still use it."

All of the three protocols I mentioned predate GSM by almost a decade. Trying to judge a technology on it's age alone is a flawed concept. I'm sure the tiny niche of little old ladies still using things like wheels would agree.

koolman2
Premium
join:2002-10-01
Anchorage, AK

Re: Has to happen eventually

The difference is that nothing better or easily adopted has come along to replace it. Your analogy is flawed and it's surprising you even used it.

alanhdsl
Premium
join:1999-10-09
Phoenix, AZ
So why can't I plug my 10-BASE-5 network into a modern IP network? Where do I plug the AUI cable?
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
And they have all kept up as carriers for modern services. The IP network is just a physical and software set of systems to convey data. Show me 2G that can perform like 4G, you can't . however the IP network is totally scalable because it is just a method of moving the data. IP is still here because as long as you can modulate the data stream into something else you can send the IP network over anything. NASA has even linked to Mars probes with an IP network. You cannot compare a transmission technology with a protocol. Ethernet is here but we have shed older methods, I bet you would not defend a coaxial ring network over switched gigabit over cat5e.
--
Filan - Aurin Spellslinger - Pago - Team Legacy
DnEtDe6c

join:2007-02-02
Athens, GA
said by Kearnstd:

One cannot just continue to cling to old technology just because a few may still use it. After all if we did that gas stations would still have been selling leaded gas in the 1990s for the handful of people clinging to cars that could not run unleaded.

You've got your analogy backward. Old cars can (and do) run on unleaded. They ran more efficiently on leaded, but it doesn't ruin them to use unleaded. Plus you can achieve a similar boost on old cars via a fuel additive. It's newer cars that would get ruined by using (now unavailable) leaded gas.

Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
The sad thing is that Nissan is still selling LEAF cars with 2G-only connectivity *today*.

»www.nissanusa.com/innovations/ca ··· cle.html

quote:
*CARWINGS® requires compatible 2G GSM/GPRS cellular network provided by AT&T. 2G cellular network not available in all areas and/or available at all times. Cellular technology is evolving, and changes to cellular networks provided by independent companies are not within Nissan's control. AT&T has announced that on December 31, 2016, AT&T will terminate 2G network availability. Like other devices that rely on 2G network coverage, once the 2G network is terminated, CARWINGS will not function unless equipment replacements, upgrades, or alternative 2G network coverage are available at that time, which Nissan cannot guarantee. Nissan not responsible for associated costs that may be required for continued CARWINGS operation due to cellular network termination (including equipment upgrades, if available, or roaming charges on alternative networks).
--
If you can't open it, you don't own it.
Eek2121

join:2002-10-12
Newton, NJ
Reviews:
·FreedomPop
The problem is that there are a bunch of M2M devices still in use (by scientists, the government, etc) that AT&T can't simply shut down. Things like weather/temperature sensors, etc. all tend to use older 'cheaper' radios.
--
My beta Ruby on Rails tutorial site!
78036364

join:2014-05-06
USA

Re: Has to happen eventually

said by Eek2121:

The problem is that there are a bunch of M2M devices still in use (by scientists, the government, etc) that AT&T can't simply shut down. Things like weather/temperature sensors, etc. all tend to use older 'cheaper' radios.

The problem is at&t announced this 2 years ago and the shut is still 2 1/2 years away. If one can't get their shit together with 5 years heads up, that's their problem.

Sir John

@144.92.64.x

Re: Has to happen eventually

Clearly you have no idea how slowly government work gets done. We're STILL rolling out Windows 7 in our USDA research building (came out 5 years ago) and it's going to take us an entire year to get a small conference room updated (we have to spread equipment purchasing out over 3 fiscal quarters to get the proper amount of money; dont even get me started on installation labor...)
rebus9

join:2002-03-26
Tampa Bay
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Bright House Net..

Re: Has to happen eventually

said by Sir John :

Clearly you have no idea how slowly government work gets done. We're STILL rolling out Windows 7 in our USDA research building (came out 5 years ago) and it's going to take us an entire year to get a small conference room updated (we have to spread equipment purchasing out over 3 fiscal quarters to get the proper amount of money; dont even get me started on installation labor...)

+1. Sir John nailed it.

I have a lot of I.T. experience in healthcare. Things change very slowly, and it's not solely funding related.

Using one small/mid-sided provider with just under 500 users that I worked with as an example, it took more than 3 years to replace every Windows XP desktop and laptop with a new Windows 7 machine.

During that time, they also went through a complete cellphone replacement cycle, and several other equipment replacement initiatives. (desk phones, printers, etc.)

The point is, IT departments aren't idly sitting around waiting for carriers to retire legacy networks. When old technology is retired, it's a BIG DEAL to refit your entire corporate structure with new gear.... which itself will be outdated 5 years hence.

Expand the bubble to include all the automotive tech, alarms, sensors, point-of-sale terminals, etc., that others have mentioned. You don't just swap this stuff out. Think labor to evaluate, install, test, train, etc.

It's a HUGE undertaking, time consuming, expensive.

And it generates a ton of old gear that has to be collected and stored, while it gets sorted, data wiped, and disposed of (recycled).

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2
said by 78036364:

If one can't get their shit together with 5 years heads up, that's their problem.

Said by someone who clearly has no clue how all this works and just how many of these devices are out there.

Thanks for playing, you can collect your consolation prize on your way out.
big_e

join:2011-03-05
Bad analogy. Tetraethyllead was banned in gasoline because it literally poisons people and the environment! 2G GSM technology doesn't effect anyone's health or the environment. It simply occupies a small slice of spectrum that could be used for AT&T's 4G deployment. And no, shutting down 2G won't raise anyone's data caps or have any kind of noticeable impact on speeds.

telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15

One example of an M2M issue

"Cell phone users are easier to force-upgrade than M2M (machine to machine, or non-phone devices with embedded cellular chipsets) users."

One example of the M2M issue, 2G cellular backup systems:

What Does the End of 2G Mean for Your Security System
By Jeff Bates, Vector Security - April 1, 2014
»www.vectorsecurity.com/blog/What ··· y-System

toby
Troy Mcclure

join:2001-11-13
Portland, OR

Re: One example of an M2M issue

I was curious about this for my alarm system, so I looked it up.

I use a Teleguard TG-4 with our alarm company.
»www.telguard.com/Products/Reside ··· TG4.aspx

3G cellular radio.
- GSM 850/1900MHz.
- UMTS WCDMA FDD 850/1900MHz

So I just hope I'm connected to the 3G signal now, for me it's connected to both cell and landline for backup.

Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon Online DSL

T-Mo

T-Mobile plans to keep a small chunk of their PCS spectrum for 2G even in areas where HSDPA & LTE have been deployed. Its about 15% of the PCS spectrum will be used for 2G.

Good reasons for this - older devices, M2M systems, redundant final backup for failure of higher-level service.

Friends I have on AT&T are complaining big time about how their 3G network is going to shit in this area as they deploy more and more LTE. 100kbps or less is the norm now, AT&T's solution is to buy a new phone but that is not an option for everyone.

T-Mobiles 3G network delivers consistent speeds. And soon it will be overbuilt with a new LTE network over all the existing EDGE.

The next decade is looking good for competition in wireless, so long as Sprint stays away from T.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: T-Mo

LOL...they have to keep some of it up to imprison all the people who go past their monthly "unlimited" data allowance.
itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA

1 recommendation

Re: T-Mo

said by RadioDoc:

LOL...they have to keep some of it up to imprison all the people who go past their monthly "unlimited" data allowance.

Nope. They don't drop you to EDGE. They throttle your HSPA+ or LTE to 200k. It's actually usable.

Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1

Re: T-Mo

Exactly. I have not gone over my 1GB limit in a while but it never knocked me off of 3G. Just throttled down to 200k which is perfectly usable for email, navigation, weather, iMessage.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2
So much for sarcasm. Y'all keep on with your T-Mo group hug.
jdbob
Premium
join:2009-07-04
John Day, OR

Cars

Ford's MyFord mobile system on the Focus Electric, C-Max Energi, and possible the Fusion Energi use AT&T's 2G data. No word from Ford on what they intend to do about this. Maybe another "we're sorry" check.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Cars

That's pretty pathetic. Hopefully they have an upgrade plan.

RWSI

join:2012-11-27
Albuquerque, NM

Rural access

There goes our rural cell phone service!
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: Rural access

Does AT&T still have EDGE-only areas? Wouldn't surprise me if they did.

koolman2
Premium
join:2002-10-01
Anchorage, AK

Re: Rural access

There's a few of them around. It sounds like they plan on completing their upgrade of all service areas to 3G and drop 2G altogether. Maybe those last few areas will be getting 3G installed in the next year or two before the turndown?
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Rural access

I just looked, and there are literally a handful of EDGE-only towers left in the country on AT&T, and they are only in a couple of states. I didn't realize that they had come so far in the last couple of years...
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
The shutdown of 2G in urban and suburban areas to reclaim spectrum for B5/B2 LTE is not mutually exclusive with continuing to operate GSM/EDGE in the middle of bum**** where they don't have Faux G or Four G to need the spectrum anyways.
Mdg
Premium
join:2009-01-10
Allentown, PA

Re: Rural access

2 years ago I got upset and smashed my AT&T blackberry and exiled myself back to my old edge 2g only one. I used it for almost a year before I ordered a new one. The edge network was full of holes in the middle of the Philly area. I would drop calls in the same spots everyday that we're never a problem with the 3G network. The demise of the 2g network has already happened.
Big Dawg 23

join:2002-03-27
Northfield, MN
There's a lot in Wisconsin and Iowa. Slowly it's getting better. I90 just after LaCrosse until the Dells is Edge to no service. Madison is LTE. Many roads that you exit off of 35 in Northwest Iowa gets you edge as well.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Rural access

That's roaming, not AT&T EDGE. That won't change until AT&T builds out their own network in that area...

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Alarm systems

Many people are going to be stuck replacing cellular transceivers on alarm panels. Or even worse, have to replace the entire panel if the transceiver is proprietary to the panel (such as the DSC Alexor or Ademco Lynx) where the cellular card is embedded in the panel. And since the sensors are proprietary to wireless systems, you could end up replacing the entire alarm system just because a cellular provider shuts down a network.

It can cost upwards of $500 to have an alarm company replace a cellular transceiver (parts and labor), more if the panel needs replacing.
--
Stop the Comcast-Time Warner merger, I'd rather Time Warner buy out Comcast.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

Re: Alarm systems

However AT&T should not just keep something around because people have alarms, They are giving plenty of warning time for pennies to be saved up.

Any time you buy into a technological system that depends on an outside source for something there is the risk of that outside system being closed down to make way for the provider to offer new services.
--
Filan - Aurin Spellslinger - Pago - Team Legacy

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
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Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Re: Alarm systems

AT&T needs to realize that there are literally millions of fixed non-mobile devices that rely on their network. I think AT&T is the #1 provider of cellular service to non mobile devices that rely on the cellular network. Even when I first got a CPAP machine, the DME provider attached a radio unit (that communicated over the AT&T network) to monitor compliance.

It's not just alarms that are going to be affected.
--
Stop the Comcast-Time Warner merger, I'd rather Time Warner buy out Comcast.
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

Would be

I am to understand that june was the month for the refarming in my area.. Something has to be up cause when they did whatever they did, my service here went crazy.. From not being able to send text, to even talking at times.. Have to cycle the airplane mode off and on, and sometimes even restart the dang device!! All of our phones here started it so it shouldn't be just one device.. Less the galaxy s4 brand doesn't like losing the 2g for whatever reason :-/