Bite Lithuania aims to switch off 3G in 2024-25; 2G in 2026-28

11 Nov 2020

Bite Lithuania has published a note indicating its proposed timeframe for phasing out 3G and 2G mobile network technology. According to its preliminary schedule, Bite estimates it will switch off the 3G network in 2024-2025, while 2G will shut down in 2026-2028, adding that ‘as the number of 2G users decreases by three-to-four percentage points each year, there should be almost no 2G devices left by the planned switch-off date.’ Bite highlighted that today, 3G technology is mainly used to provide high quality voice services, currently carrying about 78% of voice traffic compared to 2G (lower quality) with the remaining 22%. Once 3G voice traffic can be moved to the 4G LTE network (via VoLTE technology), the 3G network will be largely redundant, as approximately 96% of all Bite’s mobile data traffic is already carried via LTE. Importantly though, Bite adds that a ‘large part’ of the Lithuanian population still uses non-4G devices, and if the 3G connection was switched off these devices would connect solely to the 2G network, reducing the quality of voice calls, hence the cautious shutdown target date range. An additional reason for the delay in 2G closure is the technology’s enduring popularity in connecting M2M/telemetry devices requiring only basic low data-rate connectivity, Bite pointed out.

Lithuania, Bite Lithuania