AT&T has finally folded its 2G wireless network. The Dallas-headquartered telecommunications company announced the news on Monday after careful thought in the previous years.
According to MacRumors, though AT&T announced the discontinuation of the network early this week, the implementation actually began on the first day of 2017. Thus, since Jan. 1, the wireless network that was still being used by a few people already ended.
AT&T’s 2G wireless network powered a few phones, including the first-generation iPhone. Apple’s first installment in its successful line of smartphones debuted with 2G service. With the shut down of the network, the device no longer receives cellular service. This means, owners of the dated handset will only be able to use it on WiFi mode.
The discontinuation is also timely because Apple has already abandoned its first-generation iPhone. It actually declared the device as obsolete four years ago. The handset only supports iOS 3, which was released way back in 2009. Developers have long terminated app development for the said operating system.
The carrier’s plan to discontinue the service started four years ago. AT&T even encouraged its clients to switch to 3G and 4G-supported devices throughout the four-year period. Clients were provided with these options at discounted rates.
The termination of the 2G wireless network frees up AT&T’s valuable spectrum for more advanced network technologies. Soon, the company is allocating bandwidth for 4G LTE. The long-term picture however is very promising because AT&T is planning to support 5G, as first reported by AppleInsider.
Meanwhile, Apple is currently celebrating the 10th year anniversary of its iPhone line. It has already been a decade since the late Steve Jobs announced the first ever iPhone on Jan. 9, 2007 at the Macworld expo.