AT&T Shuts Down 2G Network and Ends Cellular Connectivity for Original iPhone

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Apr 12, 2001
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AT&T yesterday announced that its 2G wireless network was officially shut down on January 1, 2017, following four years of planning for its discontinuation.

As The Verge points out, the end of the 2G network means the original first-generation iPhone (also known as the iPhone 2G) will no longer receive cellular service from the AT&T network, effectively shutting it down.

Few people appear to have been using the original iPhone as there were no complaints from iPhone owners two weeks ago when the network was shuttered, but going forward, customers who keep the device as part of a collection will only be able to use it on WiFi.


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.

While the end of the 2G network seems to have had little impact on 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.

According to AT&T, shutting down its 2G network frees up valuable spectrum for future network technologies, including 5G. AT&T says the spectrum will be repurposed for LTE.

Article Link: AT&T Shuts Down 2G Network and Ends Cellular Connectivity for Original iPhone
 

itsmilo

macrumors 68040
Sep 15, 2016
3,188
6,844
Europe
Lucky, the phone coverage in Germany is still utter crap and i have a plan on all three.

Was in Costa Rica for vacation, even had LTE in the jungle and never saw anything below 3G. Got back home and just out of Frankfurt ... 1 bar of edge before dying completely. At my parents place i turn on airplane mode and use wifi cuz 1 bar of edge is useless. Some places i even see "GPRS"!

At the train station in Stuttgart it shows me 3G but nothing loads. So embarrassing for a european country.

Rant over :D
 

Aloft085

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2014
119
88
NextMuni must have had plenty of prep time to update their system. It's not as if they just decided to shut off the network with telling anyone. Or lack of funding...one of the two.
This is a government agency that we're talking about here. Let's be real. It was probably installed by a private contractor, with no one in the actual agency knowing how it works.

On a side note, systems like this were kind of rare back in the 2G days. I bet the phasing out of 3G is going to be a huge deal for companies and governments eventually.
 

arekm

macrumors newbie
Jan 8, 2014
18
30
What about all these sensors devices, monitoring, alarms - devices with GSM communication? They are dead now. Did all these devices migrate to newer (3G+) versions or switched to non-AT&T instead?
 

kwikdeth

macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2003
1,047
1,391
Tempe, AZ
i have an original iphone still, i use it as a noise machine for when i sleep. what's amazing to me is on the rare occasions that it gets disconnected from its power supply, in airplane mode it still gets a good 10 hours of battery life at least. amazing for a nearly 10 year old device. they dont make em like they used to.
 

639051

Cancelled
Nov 8, 2011
967
1,265
NextMuni must have had plenty of prep time to update their system. It's not as if they just decided to shut off the network with telling anyone. Or lack of funding...one of the two.
I was thinking this as well because AT&T made these plans known quite some time ago. If they weren't prepared they are fools.
 

John Jacob

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2003
548
9
Columbia, MD
And maybe it will affect 2 people in North America
Well, I was one of them. My cellphone died a few days after Christmas, so I was using my backup cellphone, an old (2011 vintage) Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray that I had bought years ago in India. That phone was quad-band 2G but only dual-band 3G, and the 3G bands used in India are different from the 2G bands used here in the USA. So around new years day, I noticed I was not getting any cellphone reception and could only use wi-fi, and not make or receive texts or calls. It took me a few days to figure out why!
 

Ted13

macrumors 6502a
Dec 29, 2003
606
289
NYC
I guess that makes your original iPhone an iPod Touch (which mine would be if I bothered to replace the swollen 10 year old battery... as it is, my "iPod Touch" is my iPhone 4).
 

yaxomoxay

macrumors demi-god
Mar 3, 2010
4,559
27,667
Texas
Well, I was one of them. My cellphone died a few days after Christmas, so I was using my backup cellphone, an old (2011 vintage) Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray that I had bought years ago in India. That phone was quad-band 2G but only dual-band 3G, and the 3G bands used in India are different from the 2G bands used here in the USA. So around new years day, I noticed I was not getting any cellphone reception and could only use wi-fi, and not make or receive texts or calls. It took me a few days to figure out why!
Uh, your primary phone was... the original iPhone?!?
 

laz232

macrumors 6502
Feb 4, 2016
497
814
At a café near you
NextMuni must have had plenty of prep time to update their system. It's not as if they just decided to shut off the network with telling anyone. Or lack of funding...one of the two.
Hi - I don't think you know what you're talking about. These kind of installations are not commodity phones. Typical systems would be a semi-custom embedded system using a 2G GPRS modem for telemetry.

Often not much documentation available, especially at the modem <-> embedded system protocol level, then there is the whole 3F (form, fit, function) problem. I frequently see clients that have a 10-15 year old system that they need upgrading, maybe 500 or so nodes and it's a big investment to make it backwards compatible with *all the other systems in the back-end*.

Working on legacy embedded systems is not like making an App.
 

djeeyore25

macrumors 6502
Dec 23, 2014
411
1,358
New York City
i have an original iphone still, i use it as a noise machine for when i sleep. what's amazing to me is on the rare occasions that it gets disconnected from its power supply, in airplane mode it still gets a good 10 hours of battery life at least. amazing for a nearly 10 year old device. they dont make em like they used to.
Mine still works great as well, at least for music. The internet is way too slow for anything, even on wifi. The battery life is really good for such an old device.
 
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