28 Jun 2024
by Martin Franke

Euralarm briefing on risks and challenges of uncoordinated shutdown of 2G and 3G networks

Following the publication of the EC’s White Paper "How to master Europe's digital infrastructure" Euralarm is emphasizing the potential risks and challenges associated with an uncoordinated and premature shutdown of 2G and 3G networks.

The aforementioned White Paper discusses the need to adapt spectrum management to meet the demands of the Digital Decade, including the coordinated shutdown of 2G and 3G networks while ensuring the continued support of essential legacy services such as emergency and critical communications.

As 2G and 3G networks are phased due to their age or limited bandwidth requirements, many products still use the 2G network. To prevent unintended consequences, a gradual and coordinated shutdown should be implemented, with at least one carrier in each Member State maintaining 2G or 3G until at least 2029-2030. Many EU Member States have not yet set an end date for the 2G network, allowing for a natural transition without risking people's lives and safety. The EU should strongly encourage Member States to implement a delayed and harmonized shutdown of 2G and 3G networks.

Further on, Euralarm stresses the need for a technological switch-off framework in the field of mobile networks in general. The same issue faced with 2G and 3G switch-off could occur again with 4G, 5G and the next mobile networks. This European framework should address the challenges posed by mobile technology transition for all users, including IoT, particularly for safety and security uses. The framework should give member countries the tools to ensure a smooth technological transition and suspend it if the conditions are not met.


Related topics