Over the years, the increase use of internet and social media has affected many thing. There had to be an upgrade to the means of data transfer. 2G was upgraded to 3G, then 4G, and now 5G is in the works. AT&T, an American based mobile network has shut down its 2G service. Does that come as a surprise? Why do you think they had to this?
Why AT&T shut down its 2G service?
Effective January 1, 2017, AT&T shut down its 2G service. This was done to free up more spectrum to enable future network technologies. Their data usage grew by 250,000% since 2007 – most of it being video. Hence, the wisest thing to do was to shut down the (slower) 2G and setup the spectrum for faster network like 4G LTE. This is a cut from the official press release:
The retirement of our 2G network – like our earlier retirement of the analog wireless network – is part of our 5G Evolution, which includes continued deployment of our 4G LTE and other technologies in the years to come.
This brings me to question the ineptitude of Nigerian mobile network operators. We have heard reports of their laments about how OTT (Over-The-Top) services like WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, etc, are stealing away traffic from voice and SMS, thereby impacting negatively on their income. Perhaps the wise thing to do is to improve on their network or rather to optimize it to offer better services and earn more from data. MTN, Airtel, Glo, and Etisalat should think and take a cue from AT&T. Let’s move forward.