How Telia is Planning to Retire 2G and 3G Networks

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The telco world is now entering the era of 5G and an increase of services demanding high performing networks. One key promise for optimal customer value and customer experience is a sustainable use of resources.

Essential to this promise is Telia Company’s plans of how and when to migrate from 2G and 3G technologies to more sustainable technologies such as 4G and 5G. Telia Norway is first and plans to begin to phase out the 3G network from year-end 2018/2019.

Telcos around the globe prepare for a changed network setup. For instance, AT&T and Verizon have announced shutting down 2G, Telstra in Australia closed their 2G service in 2016 and Telenor will start phasing out their Norwegian 3G network in 2019.

“To continue to provide all mobile communications generations is not a sustainable way of maximizing value to our customers. We need to continuously review our technology strategy to ensure that we adapt new access technologies, that will benefit our customers, and phase out such that no longer can deliver on our promise of best customer experience,” says Gabriella Styf Sjöman, acting head of Global Services & Operations at Telia Company.

In Norway, Telia plans to phase out the 3G network starting at year-end 2018/2019. It will secure more space for 4G and the future 5G, when frequencies currently used for 3G can be used in the 4G network.

As technologies develop, more services use the latest generation. For instance, when introducing 4G in 2009, no voice calls used that technology – today Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is introduced in all Telia’s markets. Narrowband IoT and M2M solutions are examples of more recent applications. Different IoT solutions is an area where the number of innovative services is exploding and drives business.

Different in each market

To ensure customer experience and satisfaction the closure plans will be adapted to each market’s specific situation. Consequently, the dates will vary over Telia Company’s footprint.

“We are committed to be transparent with our plans, and allow our customers and partners time to prepare. We will therefore inform well in advance before shut-down. All countries are working on their respective plans that best fit their current status and strategy. In the near future, we expect to know and share more,” says Gabriella Styf Sjöman.