T-Mobile is finally ready to retire its 2G GSM network. The company has revealed that it will end support for the three-generations old network spectrum on April 2, 2024. Other big wireless carriers in the US have already shut down their 2G services. AT&T pulled the plug on January 1, 2017, while Verizon reportedly retired the outdated network at the end of 2020.
T-Mobile announces its plan to retire the aging 2G network
T-Mobile didn’t provide many details about its plan to shut down 2G services. The carrier simply mentioned the date in an official support document on its website. It has likely also notified users about the impending sunset of the age-old wireless network. There may not be many people with a 2G-only phone today, so the change won’t affect a large population. But the few T-Mobile customers who are still using a basic phone with no 4G/5G support now have just over a year to get a smartphone.
“Moving customers who are on old networks onto modern, advanced high-speed networks means they will need to have phones and devices that can tap into the latest technologies. We’ll ensure that we support our customers and partners through the transition,” the carrier said. Users who are impacted by the shutdown of T-Mobile’s 2G network should get some sort of direct communication from the company in the coming months. It will likely provide them with instructions on how to upgrade to a new phone.
Note that a 3G phone won’t work. T-Mobile has already pulled the plug on its 3G UMTS network. Yes, it shut down the newer network ahead of 2G. The shutdown came on July 1 last year, a day after it retired Sprint’s 4G LTE network that it acquired following the high-profile merger in 2020. T-Mobile also shuttered Sprint’s 3G CDMA network on March 31 last year. By retiring its 2G network next year, the self-proclaimed Un-carrier is all set to fully embrace the latest wireless network spectrums.
T-Mobile is also ending support for Sprint SIM cards
As part of this network evolution, T-Mobile is also ending support for legacy Sprint SIM cards. Sprint customers who haven’t switched their SIMs with a T-Mobile-issued card after the two carriers merged a few years back must do now. The company recently sent a legal notice, as well as multiple email and SMS notifications, to those users asking them to replace their SIM cards by the end of April this year. On May 1, all Sprint-issued SIMs will be non-functional. Even emergency calls to 911 may not go through.