The three major providers KPN, T-Mobile and Vodafone/Ziggo have heralded the end of 2G and 3G in the Netherlands. The old mobile networks are the first to disappear for consumers, but in a few years the business and government will also have to switch. Some organizations find the deadlines of providers are coming too quickly and are calling for a postponement.
The 2G network dates from the 1990s and is suitable for texting, calling and – very slow – internet. 3G was introduced in 2003 and offers faster access to the Internet. These older network technologies have now been widely followed by 4G. And since 2020, the three major providers in the Netherlands have also been focusing on 5G. Via 4G and 5G you can send text messages, call in higher quality and use the internet considerably faster. As 4G and 5G are available nationwide, providers are gradually phasing out their 2G and 3G networks for consumers and businesses.
T-Mobile stopped its 2G network for consumers on June 1, a measure that also applies to subsidiaries Tele2 and Ben. They use the T-Mobile network. Vodafone already stopped 3G last year, KPN will do this on March 31, 2022. T-Mobile is still sticking to 3G for the time being, while Vodafone and KPN will continue with 2G for a while.
Old frequency space for newer networks
By removing the old 2G and 3G networks, material, budget and – important – frequency space are released. And the providers can use that. A T-Mobile spokesperson previously told AG Connect : “By phasing out 2G, we create the most space for 4G while retaining the most calling capacity and best coverage by maintaining 3G.” Vodafone is using the released 3G frequency space to keep up with the increasing data consumption via 4G. Convenient for providers is that the existing transmission towers can simply remain.
The scrapping of 2G and 3G is less good news for the approximately 220,000 consumers who were still using the internet with 2G or 3G connections at the beginning of this year. However, they can easily switch to 4G with a new smartphone. Almost all devices from 100 euros support 4G. 5G smartphones start at 200 euros.
For business, the impending end of 2G and 3G is a bigger and more expensive change. Vodafone says it will keep its 2G network active until at least January 1, 2025, but T-Mobile will take its business 2G network off the air on June 1, 2023 and KPN will do this in April 2025. And that keeps many companies busy.
Source: AG-Connect 11-8-2021