The UK to end 2G and 3G networks by 2033, focusing on 5G connection

The United Kingdom announced today that it will be switching off its 2G and 3G networks by 2033 as it’s been focusing more on the newer 5G technology.

As reported by TechRadar, the government said that “the sunsetting of the aging networks will accelerate the UK’s 5G ambitions and pave the way for future 6G services that deliver a range of benefits for individuals, businesses, and society.”

The publication notes that while 4G connection is widely available within the United Kingdom, fewer people are relying on 2G and 3G networks.

All four UK carriers have agreed to end the availability of these networks by 2033, but it’s likely that the 3G network will be cut off before that as the “wider availability of 4G in rural areas reduces the need to maintain inferior infrastructure.”

While switching off 3G will help operators to reuse the structure for 4G and 5G networks, it will also reduce costs as the companies will be able to turn off power-hungry equipment.

For the 2G, on the other hand, it might stay around for a while as the “lower power requirements make it an ideal standard for mass IoT deployments that require long battery life and minimal bandwidth.”


Culture secretary Nadine Dorries talked about how 5G will help the UK with faster mobile data and make businesses more productive.

Today we are announcing a further £50 million to put the UK at the forefront of mobile connectivity and to make sure our telecoms networks are safe and secure now and in the future.

We can only do this through stronger international collaboration and I will be meeting with our US allies today as we strengthen our ties on technology.

Obviously, the UK isn’t the only region with plans to end 3G support, although it’s going to take a while to do so. Early this year, US carrier Verizon announced its plans to end its 3G network at the end of 2022. The company said:

Since 2016, we have stated publicly that we are actively decommissioning our 3G CDMA network. Initially, we announced we would close down our 3G network in 2019. However, we extended our shut-off date – first to the end of 2020 and now to the end of 2022 – in order to care for our customers and give them every effort to minimize disruptions to their service as they move to newer and more advanced technologies.

With 5G slowly expanding globally for businesses and customers, it’s only a matter of time until 4G and 5G become the regular standard. Not only that but it’s important to note that 5G phones are more affordable than ever and Apple is planning its cheapest 5G iPhone for 2022 with a third-generation iPhone SE.

How is 5G expansion in your country? Tell us in the comments section below.

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