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Why do telecom operators systematically turn off 3G networks?

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Why do telecom operators systematically turn off 3G networks?
On February 22, the North American telecommunications operator AT&T stopped providing communications in 3G networks. In the future, other operators, including Russian ones, will do the same. Why do they need it and what consequences can such an initiative lead to?

What's wrong with 3G?

3G networks became operational in 2002. Since then, two new communication standards have emerged that have greatly improved throughput.

The termination of 3G networks will solve two problems: relieve the load on aging equipment and free up frequencies for 4G and 5G. Having dealt with the second point, providers will be able not to obtain permission from the state authorities to use new frequency ranges, since in this case it will be possible to use existing frequencies.

What about devices that work with 3G?

If the new device can only support 3G networks, then it will not have any network connection. In addition, operators have a plan whereby they will send notifications to customers about the imminent disconnection from old generation networks, the need for updates and discounts on devices that support 4G and 5G.

Why do telecom operators systematically turn off 3G networks?


Restrictions will be imposed not only on phones. Alarm systems, medical devices with the ability to alert emergency services, auxiliary equipment on roads, barriers and USB modems are often tied to work purely with 3G. Difficulties with the implementation of voice calls will also arise for smartphones that support 4G, but do not work with VoLTE and HD Voice standards.

The fate of 3G in Russia

In 2020, providers from the Russian Federation predicted that old-generation networks will be turned off in the country in the next 3-5 years. No specifics were stated then, however, experts believe that by 2025 only local areas with access to 3G will remain in Russia.



This delay is reinforced by the fact that some providers do not support VoLTE. For example, Tele2 supports this standard only in Moscow and the Moscow region, while Yota does not support it at all. And yet, with the full introduction of 5G in Russia, old-generation networks will stop working.
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