Government plans to turn off 2G and 3G mobile phone networks in the UK by 2033 in preparation for 5G and eventually 6G services, which will power technologies such as driverless cars, drones and virtual reality.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the move would help the UK make a smoother transition to faster networks
She said: "5G technology is already revolutionising people's lives and businesses - connecting people across the UK with faster mobile data and making businesses more productive."
While the number of people reliant on 2G and 3G networks is relatively low, retiring them will allow operators to reclaim spectrum to be used in 4G and 5G networks, as well as save money being spent on powering and maintaining inefficient equipment. 2G may remain in use for longer than 3G because it offers wide coverage and comparatively low power requirements which make it ideal for some IoT deployments.
In the United States, carriers have begun a similar process, with Verizon planning to shut down its 3G network on December 31, 2022.
In China, operators are actually reducing the number of 2G and 3G base stations, especially THE 3G base station will disappear completely, but 2G will remain, because 2G can guarantee basic call and text service.