The Wall Street Journal reports that AT&T has plans to shut down its 2G network by January 1, 2017
. Roughly 12% of its contact wireless customers — 8.4 million people — have 2G handsets, and the company plans to gradually move them to devices running on more modern networks.
"The timeline for the 2G shutdown was made in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. An AT&T spokesman said the company no longer sells 2G handsets to contract or prepaid customers. Along with phones, the company does have some other devices connected to its 2G networks, but it also expects that they will transition to more modern technology in coming years. As the carriers deal with ever increasing data usage on their networks, they also are facing a spectrum shortage to carry all the traffic. Shutting down legacy networks is one part of the plan, along with acquiring new spectrum and finding innovative ways to use unused airwaves."