We’ve been livin’ on the EDGE for a long time, but AT&T figures it’s about that time that the sky started falling on GSM. CFO John Stevens says the network’s remaining 2G networks will be shut off by the end of this year.
In AT&T’s Q1 earnings conference call, Stevens said that the company moved off six million customers from 2G in the past 12 months. Some stubborn feature phone-wielding subscribers may end up getting lost in the transition, but refarming the 850MHz and 1.9GHz bands entirely to LTE would be more economical for the company in the end.
“There still is a lot of cost that is left just to operate even a piece of the 2G network,” Stevens said.
Many bits and pieces of 2G in certain reduced-traffic markets have already been shut off and are in the process of refarming. Streaming video content will need better use of every bit of spectrum AT&T has, so it’s ready to do itself a big favor here.
Big Orange will soon have LTE running at some capacity on all six tracts of spectrum it has with two of them sharing HSPA+ duties. Verizon is planning on going LTE-only by 2021, no 1xRTT or anything.