Global 2G and 3G Phase Out / Sunset: What Do We Know So Far?

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Global 2G and 3G Phase Out / Sunset: What Do We Know So Far?


With 4G achieving mainstream status and 5G just about to take off, the transition away from legacy tech in existing deployments

Global 2G and 3G Phase Out / Sunset: What Do We Know So Far?

With increasing 4G proliferation and 5G already being rolled out in some regions, network operators’ focus has been shifting away from GSM and UMTS networks for quite some time now to free up frequencies for the new technologies.

The move away from legacy technologies will undoubtedly be a significant transition for many IoT and M2M companies, because 2G and 3G connectivity is still the most used technologies for deployed devices.

With this in mind, we take an overview look at how the global 2G and 3G sunset is progressing. With no global roadmap for phasing-out 2G or 3G, our overview will focus on the state of play by region: Asia, Australia & Oceania, Europe, Africa, North-America, Central and South-America.


East Asia is leading the way in regard to switching-off 2G networks. In certain countries in the region, such as Japan, Macau, Singapore and South Korea, there is no 2G available at all. In Taiwan and Thailand, the major network operators have already phased out 2G with some operators in those countries still offering 2G services for a limited time.

Switch-Off Date Network Operator Country Technology
2025 Grameenphone Bangladesh GSM
2017 Reliance JIO


India GSM
2019 Airtel India GSM
30.06.2015 CTM, Hutchison, Smartone Macau GSM
01.08.2019 CTM, Hutchison, Smartone Macau GSM
2022 Telenor Myanmar Myanmar GSM
2025-2027 Telenor Myanmar Myanmar UMTS
After 2020 Digi Malaysia GSM, UMTS
2023 Telenor Pakistan UMTS
01.04.2018 M1, Singtel, Starhub Singapore GSM
2011 KT, LG Uplus, SK Telecom South Korea GSM
31.10.2019 DTAC, AIS, TrueMoveH Thailand GSM
31.12.2017 Chunghwa, Far East Tone, Taiwan Mobile, Taiwan Star Taiwan GSM
31.12.2018 Chunghwa, Far East Tone, Taiwan Mobile, Taiwan Star, Asia pacific Telecom Taiwan UMTS



Vodafone New Zealand still operates a 2G network with no switch-off date having been announced. However, in Australia, Vodafone switched off its 2G network on 30th June 2018.

Switch-Off Date Status Network Operator Country Technology
01.12.2016 Closed Telstra Australia GSM
01.04.2017 Closed Optus Australia GSM
30.08.2018 Closed Vodafone Australia GSM
31.07.2012 Closed Spark New Zealand CDMA
15.03.2018 Closed 2 Degrees New Zealand GSM
01.10.2018 Closing NTT Docomo Guam & Saipan GSM



In some European countries it could be the case where 2G may even outlive 3G, UMTS. Norwegian MNO Telenor announced 3G switch-off in 2020 – five years before 2G.

Vodafone has announced it is to phase-out 3G networks across Europe in 2020 and 2021 while Deutsche Telekom plans to continue 3G, UMTS until the end of 2020. However, there are no plans by either Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom or Telefonica for 2G switch off.

Switch-Off Date Network Operator Country Technology
01.01.2021 Swisscom Lichtenstein GSM
31.12.2020 T-Mobile Netherlands GSM
31.12.2025 Telenor Norway GSM
31.12.2020 Telenor Norway UMTS
31.12.2021 Telia Norway UMTS
2020 Telenor Sweden UMTS
2025 Tele2, Telia Sweden UMTS
End of 2021
End of 2024
Sunrise Switzerland GSM900
31.12.2020 Swisscom Switzerland GSM

*UMTS900 to remain in operation while UMTS2100 will be gradually wound down until switch-off date

North America

As of 2020, there will be no 2G network available in North America.

Switch-Off Date Network Operator Country Technology
01.12.2016 Manitoba Telecom Canada CDMA
01.01.2017 Bell Canada CDMA
31.01.2017 Telus Canada CDMA
31.07.2017 SaskTel Canada CDMA
2019 AT&T Mexico GSM
2020 Movistar Mexico GSM
31.12.2016 AT&T USA GSM
31.12.2019 Verizon Wireless USA CDMA
XX.XX.2020 T-Mobile USA GSM


Africa, Central America and South America

These markets are less developed than those above, and as such will not lead the way when it comes to refarming spectrum to accommodate LTE. There is no mass switch off of 2G in these regions expected until 2020.

Switch-Off Date Network Operator Country Technology
30.04.2018 Antigua Public Utilities Authority Antigua and Barbuda GSM
31.12.2014 CNT Ecuador CDMA


If IoT and M2M companies hope to continue to compete after 2G networks are shut down around the world, they must evolve – and implement hardware that supports modern cellular technologies. Whether you decide to stick with 2G for now or migrate to 3G, 4G or LTE, EMnify can help set you on the right path for your IoT deployment.

At EMnify, we specialize in providing IoT connectivity in the cloud and secure service management for your IoT devices. For more information on how we can help with your IoT connectivity needs, reach out to our team of IoT experts via email: or phone:  +49-30-5557-33333. 

Please note: All information in this article has been gathered from open sources at best effort. EMnify takes no liability regarding the correctness. 


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