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2G Bands

mobile phone networksYou will note that the “G” in 2G, 3G as well as 4G stands for “Generation” when it comes to the mobile networks. Each generation has become faster than the last so 2G is much slower than 4G. Most countries today have 2G networks and many countries have all 3 generations of network connectivity. You can see the APN settings for African countries listed on this website as well as the range of mobile phone specs on this website which highlights this. 

What is the speed of 2G?

The speed of 2G with GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) is 40 kbit/s in practice. This goes up when EDGE is available as the speed then goes up to 500 kbit/s. These are the real world speed and not the theoretical speed. The theoretical speed for GPRS is 50 kbit/s and for the EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) the theoretical speed is 1 Mbit/s.

2G Advantages

  • The 2G is normally free of static and nay backround noise
  • 2G requires very  little power as the voice and data can be compressed

2G Disadvantages

  • Its low powered and may not work well in rural areas as the towers are further apart
  • The digital signal does not fade but drops out abruptly
  • Lossy compression reduces the quality of the audio

2G has been around for a long time however it is being phased out in many countries as the bandwidth needs cannot be covered by 2G and keeping the equipment going is not worth the money considering that most countries today are using a much higher data service such as 3G as well as 4G which is now the most commonly used network generation. Many security systems globally still use the 2G network for connectivity and the phase out of 2G has created its own problems.

2G Phase Out

Australia
On 1 December 2016, Telstra shutdown the 2G services except for Christmas Island. Optus followed on 1 April 2017 by starting to phase out 2G network connectivity in Australia. Vodafone Australia will also start phasing out 2G connectivity on 30 September 2017.
Canada

Rogers Wireless in Canada is the only provider which is still offering a 2G network service until 2018.

Singapore

The network providers in Singapore being Singtel, M1, as well as StarHub has ceased 2G services effective 1 April 2017.

Switzerland

In Switzerland, Swisscom as well as Salt and Sunrise which hold a licence to operate 2G will cease 2G services only by 1 January 2021.

Taiwan

Taiwan has urged all their 2G users to upgrade by June in 2017.

United States
The AT&T 2G GSM service was shutdown in Jan-2017. There is also Verizon who plans to shut down its 2G CDMA 1X network by 31 December 2019 and T-Mobile US has stated that they will shutdown their 2G network until 2020.

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