Telefónica Deutschland (O2) has announced it is accelerating the shutdown of its 3G network in various regions of Germany. Though the end of 2021 was its original target, the company will convert the majority of 3G sites as early as September and carry out the last large-scale shutdowns by mid-November. Meanwhile, in the UAE, Du recently announced that it will be shutting down its 2G networks in the near future in line with the direction from regulator TDRA.
The pace of 2G/3G network shutdowns is increasing as operators look to optimise their network operations and costs, and refarm spectrum for 4G and 5G. Based on announced plans from operators, a graphic from GSMA Intelligence last month illustrated how at least 64 networks will be shut down between 2021 and 2025. In fact, 2021 is set to be the year with the highest number of 2G and 3G network shutdowns so far. The industry is clearly looking to ensure it has the high-performing infrastructure needed for digital transformation and enhanced consumer experiences.