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Shutting down of 2G networks

  • 22-12-2022 4:16pm
    Registered Users Posts: 184 ✭✭ Gunner3629

    Hi Folks,

    As many countries shutdown their 2G networks and use the spectrum for 4G, I’m wondering what happens to voice calls in a practical sense.

    I’m aware there is VoLTE and that will presumably become the primary calling method. But what happens if 2G is no longer around and 4G is not available in your area. Is there any fallback, does 3G in Ireland support circuit switched calling or is it just 2G presently?

    Just trying to understand the real-world consequences.


  • Registered Users Posts: 36,128 ✭✭✭✭ ED E

    Many areas already wont have 2G, 3G is carrying voice. 3G is now being refarmed too.

    Mobile network operator (MNO) Vodafone Ireland has reportedly set out plans to begin a phased upgrade programme later this year which will see it gradually phase out 3G connectivity in favour of more modern technologies. According to local press outlet RTE, with work expected to get underway in late 2022, the MNO aims to upgrade its existing 3G network to a more sustainable 4G and 5G service as part of a nationwide network modernisation programme. Of note, the cellco has claimed that only around 6% of the data used on its network is currently carried on 3G. Explaining the reasoning behind its upgrade plans, Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O’Leary was cited by The Irish Times as saying: ‘Our ambition is to provide the best and most reliable level of network coverage around the country for our customers. Upgrading our 3G network and our sites to 4G and 5G will futureproof our network for our customers all across Ireland. 3G provided an initial foundation to build out connectivity, the technology has now sufficiently developed to give our customers a faster and more sustainable mobile experience that lessens the impact on the environment.’

    Meanwhile, a campaign to communicate the 3G switch-off plans will reportedly get underway from today, with O’Leary noting: ‘We are communicating the beginning of this phased programme as early as possible so customers can stay connected while this transition takes place.’

    IP based Telephony will take over eventually (VoLTE and possibly other tech). Trick will be getting end users on feature phones to upgrade without too many rants to Joe Duffy.

  • If Three follow the same plan they'll need to extend their 4g network. At the homestead in Mayo (between Westport & Louisburgh) 4g coverage is quite poor, and I tend to manually set my iPhone to 3g if I want decent reception for voice, especially indoors.