2G and 3G mobile switch off dates in UK and Europe

Discussion in 'Precision Farming & GPS' started by Pheasant Surprise, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Has anyone heard any more about the realistic dates when this is likely to happen? I've seen 2020 listed as a date in some old articles, but not sure if that's still the case.

    I'm not so fussed about phones, but what about any precision farming gear, like mobile/cellular RTK that costs ££££ to replace. If so what are our equipment vendors doing about it?

    It will be a total pain in the backside to swap out gear that no longer works on the phone networks, but otherwise works perfectly well.

    Worrying about nothing or....
  2. Lofty

    Lofty Member

    It's an interesting question and one I've been giving a little bit of thought to recently. The only way to achieve a steady stable NTRIP connection here is with 2G only.
    Might be wrong, but I always thought 4G didn't carry voice anyway so can't see 2/3G disappearing any time soon.
  3. milkloss

    milkloss Member

    East Sussex
    Is it about buying expensive licences for the carriers?
  4. All the carriers are moving their 4G services to voice over LTE (VoLTE) which is voice carried over IP packet (it's all data now) as they can get more bang for their (expensive licensed) bandwidth. They want to get rid of 2G and 3G as fast as possible really.
    Andy26 likes this.
  5. Robt

    Robt Member

    Interesting question. So in 2020 your kit will be at least 3 years old, I'm guessing more like 5 years old.... what do you suggest as an age to use as your PF kit? Bearing in mind you base all your future planning and savings around . What spec and make is your NTrip system?
  6. I don't know if the 2020 date is real or not, but there's a lot of stuff (other than precision farming and surveying derived kit) like ATM machines, alarms systems, etc still using GSM and GPRS.

    But it is something that made me think it could be a bit of a problem, not a long way off, especially as there's very little stuff that can do 4G right now in this space.
  7. Robt

    Robt Member

    Why mention ATM machines? You said precision farming in your opening post? Do you really think the ATM companies haven't a 5/10 year plan for future development? You disappoint me
  8. I'm just citing the installed base of other equipment that uses 2G or 3G for data could be quite significant (certainly much larger than PF) and perhaps also might not be readily upgraded or perhaps it might...I don't know. It would have to be a consideration (I hope) for Ofcom in considering switch off dates.

    Looking at it from our little sphere if Ofcom announced tomorrow that 2020 was going to be the switch off date. It could leave a lot of folks on a sticky wicket, especially as I can't see any new kit supporting 4G for data. You might know different...
  9. Robt

    Robt Member

    I know some kit that works rather well in 4g........
  10. Lofty

    Lofty Member

  11. Northern farmer

    Please tell more Robt (referring to previous discussions, it is not a problem with what you say but what you leave unmentioned).

    Topcon Ag gear moved to 2G/3G quite recently, is there a 4G modem available now? Our 2012 Topcon modem (yes, it is a 100% Topcon part) is still 2G only (plus radio of course).

    Quite a significant percentage of the Topcon AGI-4 modem price must consist of the "RTK-licence". I could imagine Topcon would offer a swap campaign in the future if needed, selling 4G modems at a decent price, leaving the RTK licence to be paid by the swapped device?

    AGI-4 and the branded devices are easy in the sense that you can plug in a $5 bluetooth receiver and feed NTRIP data from your cellphone. A pity it isn't a standard feature, specifically when accessing the SIM card is so difficult.

    I happen to remember some discussions about 2G switch off from some time before year 2000. A pretty high ranked person in a big telecom company explained that cellular systems come and go in 10 year cycles, as they have pretty much done before (as seen some time before 2000). So far we've had a 20 year extension for 2G.

    2G-only modems are still being deployed in huge numbers because of the ridiculously low price. Home security, remote control etc. etc. The wife's 2017 car does not have a 4G modem. Precision AG would hurt many of us if 2G was switched off but it would hurt a lot more elsewhere. Hopefully the decisions will not be politically driven.
    Pheasant Surprise likes this.
  12. The UK and Europe are very hazy and unclear around switch off dates for 2G and 3G.

    The shutdown dates in other countries like Australia and USA are quite clear. for example one of the biggest telcos there, Verizon, recently announced it will switch off its 2G and 3G network by 2021 and moving everything to LTE/4G.

    I guess it will get driven out of there more or less.
  13. smart meters work on 2 or 3g, or they should, We can only get 4g here so the electric meter can never report in , leading to some huge piles of paperwork credit notes estimate bills, chaos.
    they keep coming and fitting new sim cards but its pointless without 4g meters
  14. Lofty

    Lofty Member

    The mark of a professional salesman.
  15. Found this info from a company that makes cellular/mobile gear for M2M (machine-to-machinery) comms:

    Network Shut-Down Information (2G & CDMA) 09.03.17

    As you are probably aware, Cellular network operators around the world are planning to shut down their 2G networks and even sometimes 3G networks.

    Unfortunately there is no global Master plan for a common roll-out of a single technology. During the next 3-5 years all of us need to cope with 2G / 3G and 4G network coverages, determined by each single country and network provider.

    While some countries like USA or Australia are very clear, other regions such as Germany or UK remain quite uncertain.

    FALCOM's FOX3-3G is helping you to overcome this situation and securing your communication channels by offering 3G and 2G in 1 device.

    Moreover during 2017 we will also offer 2 versions of FOX3-4G supporting LTE cat 4 for USA or EMEA and Asia as well as 3G and 2G.

    For more details on FOX3-3G pls check our website:


    For FOX3-4G please ask us directly. Network status per country and/or network provider:

    • Telstra announced that they will shut down their GSM network by December, 1st 2016.
    • Optus Australia (Singtel group) announced that they will shut down their GSM network by April, 1st 2017.
    • Vodafone (End of September) discontinuation of GSM-network in the 900-MHz band
    • Austria's market leader A1 does "not have any plans for shutdown of GSM in the coming years". The shifting of GSM frequencies to changeover-friendly 5 MHz packages will only be fully completed beginning of 2018 (900 MHz), respectively beginning of 2020 (1,800 MHz). A1 will at least offer UMTS on the 2,100 MHz frequency until end of 2020.
    • Drei has not yet decided and observes the evolution, thinking that especially for M2M applications GSM could be relevant beyond 2020.
    • T-Mobile Austria and FL1 (Telecom Liechtenstein) have not yet commented the matter.
    • Rogers Wireless is the only provider still having a 2G network, until 2018.
    • At the present time, neither Telekom, nor Vodafone, nor Telefonica want to commit to a transfer roadmap, off GSM and/or UMTS to LTE or it's follow-up standard. Vodafone wants to use their GSM frequencies, "so that they correspond to the actual distribution of end terminals and thereby comply with the customers' needs". It sounds as if there's going to be a step-by-step exit from GSM and UMTS. The same applies to Telekom.
    • KT terminated 2G service completely as of March 19, 2012
    New Zealand:
    • Vodafone New Zealand spokeswoman Elissa Downey said (in March, 2016) it planned to turn off its 2G voice service and would confirm the timing soon (2020? 2021?).
    • Telenor Norway announced the will shut down 3G network in 2020, five years before 2G (2025).
    • Starhub, M1 & Singtel announced that they will discontinue their 2G services all across the country by April, 1st 2017
    • Swisscom is deploying LTE Advanced from 2016, before 5G full availability in 2020. 2G technology will no longer be supported for residential & business customers, as well as M2M applications by January, 1st 2021.
    • True Move and Digital Phone (DPC) shut down their 2G networks in June 2014, replaced by 4G networks.
    • AT&T has announced they will terminate 2G network availability on December 31, 2016.
    • T-Mobile USA: GSM-network still available until 2020 – but in reduced scope; especially for M2M customers
    • Verizon announced a plan to completely shut down 2G (CDMA 1xRTT) network by December 31st, 2019, potentially keeping it open for one extra year for specific customers over 2020. Same announcement for 3G (EV-DO) network that will be closed by early 2021 (replaced by LTE).
    • Sprint is at least committed until 2021 for its 2G (CDMA 1xRTT).
  16. At the risk of playing into RobT's hands (just kidding Rob ;)) and making this all about Topcon, the AGI4 snap-in I got in 3Q/2015 was 3G ready.

    I'm mildly intrigued too...Do they offer a LTE ready snap-in now for AGI-4?

Share This Page