2G/3G Discontinuation

Making way for future Radio Access Technologies.

From the physical side, the radio frequency spectrum used for wireless communication is a very sparse, limited but valuable resource. Each country/region through the world uses and optimizes this common spectrum differently, but the same physical limitations apply.
As new, more advanced, and powerful mobile radio network technologies emerge, older standards make way for future deployments. Current mobile Radio Access Technologies (RAT) range from 2G (GSM), 3G (UMTS), 4G (LTE) including NB-IoT and LTE Cat-M to the most recent fifth generation 5G. The advancements in 4G and 5G provide simpler, scalable network structures and are more optimized for IoT and future-driven use cases compared to 2G and 3G. As a result, many Mobile Network Operators (MNO) decided to discontinue 2G and/or 3G to make space in the radio frequency bands for 4G and 5G deployments.

Migrating to Future-Proof Technologies

Early on mobile IoT device integrations used 2G/3G RATs as primary network resource. Today, many deployed IoT devices still use older RATs as fallback solution as new radio standards (e.g., NB-IoT and LTE-M/Cat-M) start to be deployed. This is backed by the usage statistics we see in the 1NCE Network. While in the European Region 2G still is the dominating standard for IoT applications, the adaption and demand for 4G/LTE with NB-IoT and LTE Cat-M is increasing significantly as availably of affordable modem hardware and international network coverage grows.

As most IoT device integrations aim for long-term deployment, device developers and manufactures need to be on the lookout for ongoing radio resource reallocations in mobile networks. It is all about choosing the right radio technology for future usage. From the SIM card perspective, the 1NCE SIM cards support all Radio Access Technologies (2G, 3G, 4G, Cat-M and NB-IoT). To future-prove IoT hardware devices, 1NCE recommends the usage of 4G and the related LTE Cat-M and NB-IoT modem hardware wherever it is possible. 2G and 3G are good alternatives to use for providing a fallback in case of a 4G outage but should ideally not be considered main point of future IoT connectivity.

Upcoming 2G (GSM) & 3G (UMTS) Discontinuations

Different countries and regions follow different shutdown/sunset/discontinuation patterns when it comes to mobile radio networks. In European Region, mostly 3G (UMTS) services are shut down and 2G (GSM) radio coverage is preserved due to fallback and emergency service use cases. In the US, Asia and Australia, the focus on freeing up radio resources lies on 2G (GSM) network resources.

As 1NCE IoT SIM connectivity relies on their roaming partners for local radio coverage, the overall coverage and available Radio Access Technologies are impacted by the local shutdowns. The list below provides an overview of upcoming changes due to discontinuations in the 1NCE Coverage.

Country/RegionNetwork Operator2G (GSM)3G (UMTS)
AlbaniaVodafone Albania31.12.2025-
ArgentinaTelecom Argentina S.A.-31.12.2023
AustriaA1 Telekom Austria AG31.12.2025-
BelgiumOrange Belgium NV/SA31.12.203031.12.2025
BrazilClaro SA31.12.202331.12.2025
BulgariaA1 Bulgaria-31.12.2025
ChinaChina Unicom31.12.2022-
ColombiaComunicacion Celular S.A.31.12.202331.12.2025
Czech RepublicT-Mobile Czech Republic31.12.202531.12.2021
Czech RepublicVodafone Czech Republic31.12.2025-
DenmarkTDC NetCo-31.12.2022
DenmarkTelenor A/S31.12.202531.07.2022
DenmarkHi3G Denmark ApS-31.12.2025
DenmarkTelia Denmark ApS-31.12.2026
El SalvadorCTE Telecom Personal SA de CV (Claro)31.12.202431.12.2026
EstoniaTelia Eesti31.12.202531.12.2023
FinlandDNA Ltd31.12.202531.12.2023
FinlandAlands Telekommunikation Ab31.12.2025-
FinlandTelia Finland Oyj31.12.202531.12.2023
FinlandElisa Corporation-31.12.2023
FranceOrange France31.12.202531.12.2023
GermanyVodafone D2 GmbH31.12.2025-
Great BritainVodafone UK Limited31.12.202531.12.2023
Great BritainEE31.12.202531.12.2022
Great BritainEE Limited31.12.202531.12.2022
GreeceVodafone Roaming Services S.A.R.L.31.12.202531.12.2022
GreeceWIND HELLAS Telecommunications S.A-31.12.2022
HungaryMagyar-Q2 2022
HungaryVodafone Hungary Ltd.31.12.202530.11.2022
HungaryTelenor Magyarország Zrt-31.12.2023
IndiaBharti Airtel Ltd.01.12.2023-
IndonesiaPT. XL Axiata Tbk01.12.2022-
IrelandVodafone Ireland Limited31.12.2025-
IsraelHot Mobile Ltd.-31.12.2025
IsraelPelephone Communications Ltd.31.12.202531.12.2025
ItalyTelecom Italia SpA-30.06.2022
JapanNTT DoCoMo-31.03.2026
LatviaLatvijas Mobilais Telefons SIA-31.12.2022
LithuaniaTelia Lietuva, AB31.12.202531.12.2022
LithuaniaUAB TELE231.12.202831.12.2025
LuxembourgPost Luxembourg31.12.202631.07.2022
LuxembourgOrange Communications Luxembourg31.12.203031.12.2025
MexicoRadiomóvil Dispa, S.A. de C.V.31.12.202431.12.2026
NetherlandsVodafone Libertel N.V.31.12.2025-
NetherlandsT-Mobile Netherlands01.06.2023-
New ZealandVodafone New Zealand01.12.2025-
NorwayTelenor Norge AS31.12.2025-
NorwayTelia Norge AS31.12.2025-
PolandT-Mobile Polska S.A.-01.01.2023
PolandOrange Polska S.A.31.12.203031.12.2025
PortugalVodafone Portugal31.12.202531.03.2023
RomaniaOrange Romania31.12.203031.12.2025
RomaniaVodafone Romania S.A.31.12.2025-
Saudi ArabiaSTC-31.12.2022
Slovak RepublicSlovak Telekom, a.s.-31.12.2022
Slovak RepublicOrange Slovensko A.S31.12.203031.12.2025
SpainVodafone España, S.A.U.31.12.202507.11.2022
SpainOrange Espagne S.A.U.31.12.203031.12.2025
SpainTelefonica Moviles Spain/Movistar-31.12.2025
Sri LankaDialog Axiata PLC-31.12.2022
South AfricaVodacom31.12.2024-
SwedenTelia Sverige AB31.12.202531.12.2023
SwedenTele2 AB Sweden31.12.202501.12.2025
SwedenTelenor Sverige AB31.12.202531.12.2025
SwitzerlandSwisscom Mobile Ltd.-31.12.2025
SwitzerlandSunrise, Switzerland31.12.2022-
SwitzerlandSalt Mobile SA (formerly Orange)31.12.2023-
TaiwanFar EasTone-30.06.2024
USAT-Mobile USA-01.07.2022

Please review the 1NCE Coverage Map to get an up to date view of the available country and access technology coverage.