There is no official announcement yet but T-Mobile is said to have plans to discontinue the 2G and 3G voice networks. This means a possible shutdown of the seemingly old technology especially since there is a major move to further expand 5G. The 4G LTE will still be available since more phones have it as a standard features. This plan could make consumers be forced to get new handsets or maybe just leave T-Mobile for another network where they can still use their 2G/3G devices.
The idea seems good in theory but even in the United States, there are still many people that connect to 2G. It’s not clear what percentage of the market remains. Other carriers have already shut down their 2G networks. One reason is for the frequencies to be used for LTE and 5G.
In case you missed it, AT&T already announced to its customers that devices that don’t have 4G voice calling will no longer work beginning 2022. That’s still two years from today and frankly, we don’t think it’s challenging to give up. It’s time to upgrade and advance and maybe this decision will urge more people to make changes.
T-Mobile’s move will ask OEMs and require devices to support at least Voice over LTE (VoLTE). Not many phones have VoLTE but it’s quickly becoming a standard. By January 2021, devices that are not compatible will no longer be supported on T-Mobile, as well as, Metro. The latter is T-Mobile’s MVNO and was previously known as MetroPCS. It’s not clear if Sprint subscribers will also be affected.
A lot of customers may be affected by this. Those using phones from foreign brands (Xiaomi or Huawei) may be greatly affected. T-Mobile has always been known to block some devices that don’t have certification. It’s only right but VoLTE isn’t part of the process.