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AT&T Shuts Down 2G Network and Ends Cellular Connectivity for Original iPhone

AT&T yesterday announced that its 2G wireless network was officially shut down on January 1, 2017, following four years of planning for its discontinuation.

As The Verge points out, the end of the 2G network means the original first-generation iPhone (also known as the iPhone 2G) will no longer receive cellular service from the AT&T network, effectively shutting it down.

Few people appear to have been using the original iPhone as there were no complaints from iPhone owners two weeks ago when the network was shuttered, but going forward, customers who keep the device as part of a collection will only be able to use it on WiFi.

iphone.jpg
Originally released in June of 2007 and discontinued in 2008, the first iPhone was made obsolete by Apple back in 2013, and it has not received software updates since the 2009 release of iPhone OS 3, later renamed iOS 3.

While the end of the 2G network seems to have had little impact on iPhone owners, it did manage to cause significant issues for the San Francisco Muni bus and train system. NextMuni, used to predict arrival times of buses and trains, ran on AT&T's 2G network. Muni vehicles without upgraded systems installed don't show up on NextMuni, a problem that the San Francisco transit agency believes could take weeks to solve.

According to AT&T, shutting down its 2G network frees up valuable spectrum for future network technologies, including 5G. AT&T says the spectrum will be repurposed for LTE.

Tag: AT&T


Top Rated Comments

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5 weeks ago
Very inconsiderate for those that are in a 10 year upgrade cycle.
Rating: 93 Votes
5 weeks ago
Fortunately, the only folks who will be pissed are on 2G, so we won't see their comments for a while.





Rating: 44 Votes
5 weeks ago
"High technology" - when you create a ground-breaking device but have no idea how to describe it.
Rating: 17 Votes
5 weeks ago
2G? I haven't seen an original iPhone used as a cell phone in a looong time... a long time.


Rating: 15 Votes
5 weeks ago

"High technology" - when you create a ground-breaking device but have no idea how to describe it.


then they switched to "Magic."
Rating: 15 Votes
5 weeks ago
To think that in about 20 years, they might be shutting down LTE networks in the same way. I wonder what technologies we'll have then!
Rating: 11 Votes
5 weeks ago
i have an original iphone still, i use it as a noise machine for when i sleep. what's amazing to me is on the rare occasions that it gets disconnected from its power supply, in airplane mode it still gets a good 10 hours of battery life at least. amazing for a nearly 10 year old device. they dont make em like they used to.
Rating: 10 Votes
5 weeks ago
NextMuni must have had plenty of prep time to update their system. It's not as if they just decided to shut off the network with telling anyone. Or lack of funding...one of the two.
Rating: 9 Votes
5 weeks ago

It was stupid that the original iPhone could only run 2g when 3g technology existed at the time, but I digress.


It's called planned obsolescence... Makes it easy to know what to design into the iPhone 3G ;)
Rating: 6 Votes
5 weeks ago
Lucky, the phone coverage in Germany is still utter crap and i have a plan on all three.

Was in Costa Rica for vacation, even had LTE in the jungle and never saw anything below 3G. Got back home and just out of Frankfurt ... 1 bar of edge before dying completely. At my parents place i turn on airplane mode and use wifi cuz 1 bar of edge is useless. Some places i even see "GPRS"!

At the train station in Stuttgart it shows me 3G but nothing loads. So embarrassing for a european country.

Rant over :D
Rating: 6 Votes

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