AT&T Starts Pushing Users Off Their 2G (EDGE) Network
As Slow Sunsetting of EDGE Network Begins
Of of the chief criticisms of AT&T's attempted takeover of T-Mobile was the fact that AT&T didn't really need
to acquire T-Mobile. The company sits on a wealth of spectrum already, including a significant amount just acquired from Qualcomm. Many noted AT&T wasn't using the spectrum they already owned efficiently, including the company's 2G or EDGE spectrum, which can be re-farmed.
Apparently finally heeding those words, AT&T is sending out notices to some 2G phone users
nudging them to upgrade so AT&T can slowly start putting that spectrum to use on their LTE build. Only some users are getting the letters, which politely inform users that it's probably a good time to buy a new phone. AT&T says they'll be supporting EDGE for a while, but the ultimate end goal is the elimination of the network:
"Your current, older-model 2G phone might not be able to make or receive calls and you may experience degradation of your wireless service in certain areas," AT&T cautioned in the letter. An AT&T spokesman, Mark Siegel, said the carrier hoped to use some of the 2G spectrum for new technologies..."We are still supporting the 2G network," he said. Siegel said customers using 2G cellphones that operate on 2G networks on the 1900-megahertz band eventually would lose all service.
AT&T's still selling some 2G EDGE devices. Given the significant number of users (both phones and older devices) using this network its demise is going to be a slow affair, but the reclaimed spectrum should go a long way in ultimately alleviating AT&T's claimed capacity crunch.