AT&T discontinues 2G network, ends cellular connectivity for first-gen iPhone

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Date: Wednesday, January 18th, 2017, 05:50
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, wireless

It’s time to move on where AT&T, the first-gen iPhone and cellular service are concerned.

On Monday, AT&T announced that its 2G wireless network was officially shut down on January 1, 2017, following four years of planning for its discontinuation.

This means that the 2G network available to the original first-gen iPhone will no longer receive cellular service from the AT&T network.


The shutdown appears to have affected relatively few people, as there were few if any vocal complaints from first-gen iPhone owners when the service was discontinued two weeks ago. Still, from here on in, customers who keep the device as part of a collection will only be able to use it on Wi-Fi.

Originally released in June of 2007 and discontinued in 2008, the first iPhone was made obsolete by Apple back in 2013, and it has not received software updates since the 2009 release of iPhone OS 3, later renamed iOS 3.

Even though the 2G network was shut down with little impact for many iPhone owners, it did manage to cause significant issues for the San Francisco Muni bus and train system. NextMuni, used to predict arrival times of buses and trains, ran on AT&T’s 2G network. Muni vehicles without upgraded systems installed don’t show up on NextMuni, a problem that the San Francisco transit agency believes could take weeks to solve.

AT&T has commented that the closing of its 2G network frees up spectrum space for future network upgrades, including 5G. The company has stated that the 2G network will be repurposed for expanded LTE coverage.

Via MacRumors and The Verge

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