Most carriers in the United States shut down their 3G networks in 2022, and 2G a few years before that, but T-Mobile has been an exception. The carrier has kept 2G functioning all this time, but it won’t for much longer.
T-Mobile has announced on a support page that it will shut down its older 2G GSM network on April 2, 2024. The company said, “To ensure all customers can enjoy a more advanced 4G and 5G network, we will be retiring older network technologies to free up resources and spectrum that will help us strengthen our entire network, move all customers to more advanced technologies and bridge the Digital Divide.”
T-Mobile already turned off most of its legacy networks and spectrum in 2022, including the original T-Mobile 3G UMTS network, Sprint’s older 3G CDMA network, and Sprint’s LTE network. That has freed up the airwaves for improved 5G coverage, with LTE now mostly relegated to a fallback.
So, why is the 2G network still in place? Well, there are a lot of phones still in use that only support 2G or 3G, like many basic phones (flip phones) that were sold well into the era of LTE smartphones. Some businesses and organizations also still use older equipment that was built for 2G or 3G, like ATMs, vending machines, or security systems. T-Mobile pushed back the timeline for its 3G shutdown a few times to give people more time to price out upgrades, but this is likely the final date for the 2G shutdown.