News by Andrew Kameka on Saturday August 04, 2012.
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In a filing with the SEC today, AT&T said it would transition customers to 3G and 4G as it invests in more modern network technologies. The filing states that AT&T will gradually shutdown 2G in individual markets until the network is fully decommissioned by January 1, 2017.
AT&T says it will have to transition 12 percent of its contract customers (8.35 million subscribers) who currently use 2G handsets. AT&T no longer sells phones with 2G technology, so the company believes it should be able to accomplish that feat as customer upgrade to smartphones.
Since March, AT&T has provided extra encouragement by telling customers they should voluntarily upgrade or risk "degradation of your wireless service" in some markets. Spectrum previously used for 2G devices has already been refarmed to improve 3G and 4G service in New York City. Customers will eventually have to upgrade because devices that rely on 2G bands will stop working once spectrum is reallocated to AT&T's HSPA+ or LTE bands.source: The Wall Street Journal
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.