If you have 2G devices on AT&T, your devices will go offline on or before January 1, 2017. In the meantime, AT&T has already stopped adding and certifying new applications, so their customers cannot develop any new GSM M2M/IoT products for use or sale in the U.S. This shutdown will not occur all at once, but will appear sporadically across the country and on January 1, 2017, the 2G wireless network will cease to exist. You may already have fallen victim!
Unlike cell phone users, who may purchase new phones every year or two, M2M customers often keep the same equipment in place for a decade or more. AT&T counts around 17 million M2M customers across its 2G, 3G and 4G networks, with a large number of those still on 2G. These companies with M2M deployments on the AT&T 2G GSM network must begin transitioning to a new solution immediately.
AT&T’s decision to shut down the 2G network was due to several factors. First, carriers in general have experienced a large increase in the number of smart phones and a dramatic rise in packet-data use. This has forced them to acquire spectrum to add capacity, and deploy more spectrum-efficient protocols in existing spectrum to improve capacity. As a result, AT&T needs to re-use its existing spectrum at 850 MHz and 1900 MHz for 3G and 4G technology deployments.