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

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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
  2. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    Very inconsiderate for those that are in a 10 year upgrade cycle.
  3. viperGTS macrumors 68000

    Nov 15, 2010
    To think that in about 20 years, they might be shutting down LTE networks in the same way. I wonder what technologies we'll have then!
  4. ghostface147 macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2008
    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 of the two.
  5. nighthawk67 macrumors regular


    Aug 26, 2016
    Cincinnati, OH
    "High technology" - when you create a ground-breaking device but have no idea how to describe it.
  6. usarioclave macrumors 65816

    Sep 26, 2003
    EDGE still works on T-Mobile! I fired up my iPhone 1s yesterday just to recharge the battery, and it came up fine.
  7. yaxomoxay macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2010
    then they switched to "Magic."
  8. itsmilo macrumors 68020


    Sep 15, 2016
    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
  9. dannyyankou macrumors G3


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    And maybe it will affect 2 people in North America
  10. RiddlaBronc macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    Mcallen Tx
    Maybe att will raise its prices once again..
  11. Aloft085 macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2014
    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.
  12. arekm macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2014
    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?
  13. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
  14. Return Zero macrumors 6502a

    Return Zero

    Oct 2, 2013
    2G? I haven't seen an original iPhone used as a cell phone in a looong time... a long time.
  15. kwikdeth macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2003
    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.
  16. Apple 26.2 macrumors 6502a

    Apple 26.2

    Jan 1, 2011
    What up, 212?!
    Such a beautifully constructed device - used it as an iPod Touch on Wi-Fi for many years before finally retiring it.
  17. jarred125 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 8, 2011
    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.
  18. John Jacob macrumors 6502a

    John Jacob

    Feb 11, 2003
    Columbia, MD
    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!
  19. btbeme macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2010
    After four years of planning, this catches them by surprise? Someone at Muni HQ isn't reading their mail.
  20. Ted13 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2003
    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).
  21. AngerDanger, Jan 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017

    AngerDanger macrumors 601


    Dec 9, 2008
    Fortunately, the only folks who will be pissed are on 2G, so we won't see their comments for a while.


  22. yaxomoxay macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2010
    Uh, your primary phone was... the original iPhone?!?
  23. libmanj macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2009
    It was stupid that the original iPhone could only run 2g when 3g technology existed at the time, but I digress.
  24. laz232 macrumors 6502

    Feb 4, 2016
    At a café near you
    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.
  25. djeeyore25 macrumors 6502


    Dec 23, 2014
    New York City
    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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