John Donovan, AT&T’s chief strategy officer and group president of technology and operations, has informed Fierce Wireless that the cellco is in the process of turning off its 2G network, and has enacted a ‘soft lock’ on roughly half of the legacy infrastructure. Going forward, AT&T will activate the lock on 100% of its network over the next four-to-six weeks, and will start decommissioning the network roughly one month after that process is completed. According to Donovan, the soft lock is a reversible process that will allow AT&T to quickly re-activate the network on a market-by-market basis if required. AT&T first outlined a 1 January 2017 2G shutdown date in a regulatory filing back in August 2012.
US mobile market leader Verizon Wireless, meanwhile, is provisionally planning to shut down its CDMA 1X network by 31 December 2019.