Back in August 2012, AT&T announced that it would be shutting down 2G GSM services (including GPRS and EDGE packet-data) by January 1, 2017. The reasons for this technological sunset have to do with various historical and business issues that drive the cellular industry.
When North American telecommunications operators initially deployed digital cellular, they chose technologies with incompatible coding and data protocols. For simplicity, these two varieties are called the “CDMA operators” and the “GSM operators.” Some industries used CDMA, while others used GSM. When smartphones became popular with the general public, the frequencies got much more crowded. Operators were forced add capacity and deploy more spectrum-efficient protocols in existing spectrum to improve capacity. Older, less-efficient technologies and protocols must give way to new, more-efficient technologies and protocols. CDMA packet-data protocols have higher spectrum efficiency to begin with, so CDMA carriers are under less business pressure than the GSM carriers. A large GSM carrier like AT&T was not using its current wireless spectrum as efficiently as it could for the data throughput needs of their customers. Shutting down that GSM service was the best option in the long term.
But, right now, that means you need to switch if you’re using AT&T 2G GSM for your IoT deployment. Your connectivity will end in three months, and all your devices will shut down if you don’t act now. Luckily, you have options.
AT&T 2G GSM Sunset SIM Swap
The simplest way to deal with the AT&T 2G GSM sunset is to swap out your SIMs with 2G GSM SIMs from T-Mobile, which you can get through Neo’s self-serve IoT marketplace today. This GSM service will be active until 2020, giving you plenty of time to plan for future hardware upgrades.
Plus, Neo is offering a promotion right now for customers who need to swap out their AT&T 2G SIMs – use the promo code 2GFREEDATA to get 90% off and get FREE data on Neo until February 2017 to help ease the transition period.
Go here to take advantage of this great deal. You’ll have your new SIMs within 24 hours. Don’t put it off too long.
Want to learn more about AT&T’s 2G GSM Sunset? Download this white paper for full details on why it’s happening and how to determine your long-term business plan.