AT&T has announced that it will decommission its 2G EDGE network by the end of 2016. CFO John Stevens told Wireless Week that the carrier has moved over 6 million subscribers off the legacy network over the last 12 months, with the remaining 2G userbase largely consisting of connected devices.
Stevens said that the cost played a major factor in the decision to shut down the 2G network:
There still is a lot of cost that is left just to operate even a piece of the 2G network. So we are anxious to capture that savings and use it to continue a strong EBITDA story for our wireless business.
AT&T has started repurposing the 2G network spectrum for LTE coverage, and will continue to do so over the course of the year.