It started in the 1980s with 1G, the first mobile network. At that time, the first wireless cell phones were still like bricks and you could only make calls with them.
Wokke: “1G, 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G are multiple generations of mobile networks. With each generation, mobile internet becomes faster and more efficient.”
2G and 3G are obsolete
2G and 3G mobile networks are very old technologies. 2G from 1991 and 3G from 2001. “It’s easy to see the flaws. 2G in particular is really very slow. If you want to download an image via WhatsApp, you wait minutes. This is no longer necessary these days.”
Very old phones from about twenty years ago, for example, only run on 2G. Smart meters, trains and trams also work over 2G. Wookie: “This is separate from our providers, but it works the same way. Very small data packets can work well over 2G.”
A number of service providers will still offer 2G until 2025, but they have already discontinued 3G, for example. Ultimately, the intent is to phase out 2G and 3G. In this case, a lot of equipment will have to be replaced.
According to Wokke, as a consumer, you probably won’t notice much of 2G and 3G disappearing. “Now you sometimes have your phone switching back from 4G to 3G or 2G. That switch won’t be there later.”
Are you too attached to your phone with 2G or 3G? Then you can still switch to a provider that offers this for now. Nowadays, you can get a new 4G-enabled phone for just a few dollars. “Eventually you’ll have to transfer, but that’s true of all technologies,” says Wookie.