It really is inevitable that old-school technologies will eventually be abandoned in favor of newer technologies. Sony has already done it in the mobile market with its decision to stop production of feature phones and just focusing on smartphone production. AT&T is also doing the same with, this time with mobile services.
AT&T has begun sending out notices that, while not announcing it outright, points to the fact that it is going to be abandoning its 2G network. The company has already talked about the need for additional wireless spectrum and it may follow T-mobile’s strategy of just using parts of the 2G network for 4G LTE development.
At one point, AT&T wanted to pay T-Mobile for $39 billion just so it could increase its network capacity the easy way. If the deal had happened it would’ve made the AT&T and T-Mobile entity the largest wireless provider in the US. But it didn’t happen and, instead, AT&T conceded billions and also spectrum to T-Mobile as part of a so-called “breakup” free. The AWS T-Mobile acquired would eventually become the backbone of its own 4G development.
AT&T is probably now going to bank on the FCC’s announcement that it will be offering more wireless spectrum up for auction.
When asked about the notice the company has distributed to subscribers, AT&T said it was just a way to encourage subscribers to upgrade if they’re still using 2G. The company said that it is still supporting 2G but added that those who use phones that use the 1900 megahertz band of the 2G network will, at some point, lose all service.