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Thread: So, T-Mobile 3G is Shutting Down July 1...

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    So, T-Mobile 3G is Shutting Down July 1...

    ...but what about 2G?

    The only recent mention of 2G's shutdown date that I've found was last from October, and it was tentatively set for December 31, 2022 (about 5 months from now). Has that changed?

    Frankly, if their spectrum can support it, I wish 2G could just stay online indefinitely at some minimal capacity, because the 4G and 5G spectra, now that 3G is mostly out of the way, seems to have quite decent speeds and capacity (at least here; this, of course will vary elsewhere). 2G, by comparison, only takes up a fairly tiny portion of spectrum at 1900 MHz, and it seems like it would be somewhat easy-ish to keep a minimal network around for the occasional M2M or IoT device.

    c
    Last edited by cc333; 06-20-2022 at 08:00 PM. Reason: Additional thoughts

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    https://www.t-mobile.com/support/cov...work-evolution

    Key Dates

    As of March 31, 2022, Sprint’s older 3G (CDMA) network will be retired
    As of June 30, 2022, Sprint’s LTE network will be retired
    As of July 1, 2022, T-Mobile’s older 3G UMTS network will be retired
    We’ve also shared that we plan to retire T-Mobile’s older GSM 2G network as well, but no date has been set. We will update this page with any additional information in the future.

    I suspect that T-Mobile will wait a few months before shutting down 2G. I suspect that they'll end up with decent amount of customers calling complaining that their data is too slow, and then attempt to get them on a 5G free phone. Unless they have an urgent need (i.e. shutting down services in an area), they'll have this as the last incentive. Once its only stuff like alarm systems, they'll pull the plug.
    AT&T... your world, throttled.

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    OK, makes sense.

    If only someone made a phone like the original StarTAC or Nokia 5190 (or a simple, relatively inexpensive upgrade that made them natively 4G or 5G capable), then I wouldn't mind so much; That said, I'm not super excited about the fact that every 4G and 5G device on the market is a smartphone, and that they all look the same; there's no innovation with regard to phone design anymore (Apple's main "innovations" lately have been to make phones thinner and adding display notches, which suddenly almost every phone has because they all copy Apple).

    This blandness and sameness leaves me feeling very uninspired by and uninterested in modern technology, whereas I actually feel excited about using an older device, such as the aforementioned StarTAC or Nokia, because they're so unique (the StarTAC because it was the first clamshell-style flip phone, and the Nokia 5110 series because it was the first phone to use an ARM-based processor).

    c

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    While 2G requires only minimal spectrum and doesn't block LTE or 5G services, it does require a completely different switching infrastructure which makes it an expensive addition to an LTE/5G network.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Yeah, legacy circuit switching vs packet switching would be the primary reason that I see it being taken down, followed by business reasons to keep it (i.e. why run a service with little to no revenue), followed by aging technology/equipment requiring people to still be able to support it. It doesn't run in all markets (ie. many rural areas don't have T-Mobile GSM but were deployed with LTE 600/700 and NR.
    I have no issue with GSM/GRPS/EDGE itself, with the exception that it has been EOL'd. AMR-Full rate calls were actually VERY good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    While 2G requires only minimal spectrum and doesn't block LTE or 5G services, it does require a completely different switching infrastructure which makes it an expensive addition to an LTE/5G network.
    Yeah, but you'd think that with the advances in software defined radios and computer processing power, that problem would be rendered mostly moot, since it is cheaper than ever to implement GSM. I mean, if someone with a Lime SDR and a computer can do it for under $1,000, why can't the wireless carriers? I realize the large scale of even a regional network has much to do with it, but still.

    c

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    While I appreciate the nostalgia, 2G needs to go. There's very few benefits of the technology in todays world. I suppose it theoretically has better signal range in rural areas. But otherwise, the drawbacks outweigh the benefits at this point. Plus, the infrastructure is archaic. I'm pretty sure the TMO 2G infrastructure is still utilizing the old Voice Stream network from the 2000s (although that may be false).

    I do agree- we need more advance basic phones. Phones that have real buttons and solid build for those with disabilities, the elderly, or the hipster that doesn't want to be on a screen all day. The basic phone market is quite bad, considering the technology available to build better basic phones.

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    From a business perspective, GSM doesn't add anything useful today. It is a minor cost in most cases.
    If I'm not mistaken, there are (were?) several security flaws in GSM which allowed for hacking/hijacking due to how long it would take to crack encryption in the 90s vs. today. TBH, its up to T-Mobile for how long they wish to keep GSM/EDGE around. I suspect that it will be ~6 months to get the remaining few over and off anything circuit switched. I still know of one GSM/GPRS only site... not sure when it will be replaced. T-Mobile enabled roaming in that area now

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    Thankfully, I haven't seen any instance of "G" or "E" on T-Mobile for several months now. LTE and 5G coverage have improved enough so that you never drop to one of those if you are in a particularly weak area. It can still happen, they are not totally gone, but are now extremely rare. Now if they could just densify enough to get 5G to stop dropping to LTE, we would be getting somewhere in the next transition. Low-band 5G just does not seem to travel as far as mid-band LTE, despite the supposed distance advantages of low-band spectrum.

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    I'm much more likely to hit "No Service" than I am 2G. That being said, I still hit both. Not very often, but in rural/small town California at least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mwdewey View Post
    Thankfully, I haven't seen any instance of "G" or "E" on T-Mobile for several months now. LTE and 5G coverage have improved enough so that you never drop to one of those if you are in a particularly weak area. It can still happen, they are not totally gone, but are now extremely rare. Now if they could just densify enough to get 5G to stop dropping to LTE, we would be getting somewhere in the next transition. Low-band 5G just does not seem to travel as far as mid-band LTE, despite the supposed distance advantages of low-band spectrum.
    I get it when I first land at airports where you can tell T-Mobile has not "focused" themselves on upgrades - it'll lock to EDGE for a bit on what I assume is a closer legacy site/das, then "find" LTE/5G after the fact a few minutes later.

    It does not happen often, but it does still happen.
    T-Mobile: Magenta Amplified

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    Will TMO still accept a SIM in a 2G phone? Or would a TMO MVNO?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajholik View Post
    Will TMO still accept a SIM in a 2G phone? Or would a TMO MVNO?
    Newer SIM cards no longer have 2G provisioning.. i've had good luck with LycaMobile in 2G devices as far as "new" SIM Cards are concerned.

    The 2G compatible SIM I use is from ~2014, so once it's dies i'm SOL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    Newer SIM cards no longer have 2G provisioning.. i've had good luck with LycaMobile in 2G devices as far as "new" SIM Cards are concerned.

    The 2G compatible SIM I use is from ~2014, so once it's dies i'm SOL.
    Ting Mobile (a T-Mobile MVNO) has SIM cards manufactured as recently as 2021 which work with 2G, in particular, those marked "X1"; Both the newest ones bought direct from Ting and older ones marked "V1" won't work on anything as old as an iPhone 4, haven't tried a 4S or a 5 yet. I'm somewhat doubtful the 4S will work, but the 5 ought to, since it's at least LTE capable (no VoLTE, though, so it might not work either; that leaves the 6 as the minimum, which was the first to officially support VoLTE).

    c

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    Quote Originally Posted by cc333 View Post
    Ting Mobile (a T-Mobile MVNO) has SIM cards manufactured as recently as 2021 which work with 2G, in particular, those marked "X1"; Both the newest ones bought direct from Ting and older ones marked "V1" won't work on anything as old as an iPhone 4, haven't tried a 4S or a 5 yet. I'm somewhat doubtful the 4S will work, but the 5 ought to, since it's at least LTE capable (no VoLTE, though, so it might not work either; that leaves the 6 as the minimum, which was the first to officially support VoLTE).

    c
    Good to know.. my "newer sim cards" comment was referring to T-Mobile proper branded SIM's

    Anytime I try a "new" SIM in any old GSM-only device, i get a "Check Card" error.

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