The original iPhone just celebrated its 10th birthday… and now it has been put out to pasture in its homeland.
The AT&T Network in the United States, which held iPhone exclusivity for years, has confirmed its outdated 2G network was shut down at the beginning of the month.
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Of course, those with a flair for nostalgia will be able to use the Wi-Fi connectivity to browse the web and access apps.
AT&T said it gave consumers fair warning of its plan to shut down 2G services and pointed out the move will free up spectrum for the development of 5G.
In a post on its innovation blog, AT&T wrote (via Fortune): “Today, our 3G and 4G LTE networks cover 99% of Americans. By shutting down our 2G network, this frees up more spectrum for future network technologies, including 5G. In the next few months, we plan to repurpose that spectrum for LTE.”
Of course the death of the iPhone’s usefulness only applies to consumers in the United States. Brits Hell-bent on keeping their OG iPhone around for use as a phone can continue to do so.
During EE’s LTE rollout the company empathized 2G’s continued need in rural areas.
Mansoor Hanif said: “We still need to manage a lot of legacy voice, especially in the rural areas. We don’t sell 2G devices any more, but there’s a lot of them out there.”
Vodafone Netherlands also claimed: “We are still maintaining our old networks, and modernising the network, also still delivering 2G and 3G services to the customer. And yes, 2G will continue longer than we expected.”
Indeed, in Europe, 2G is likely to outlive its 3G counterpart.
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