Vodafone is shutting down 3G to bolster its 5G networks but says that 2G is here to stay for now.
"In the medium term, we will be switching off 3G, because the use of the 3G band and what we get in return is not that efficient so we can use some of the 3G spectrum bands for 5G," Andrea Dona, head of Vodafone’s UK mobile networks, told Pocket-Lint.
"Then we don't have to waste higher frequency, like the US are using the millimetre wave (mmWave)...we can use the low band which is more efficient."
While there's no fixed date for shutting down 3G, Dona says that it will happen in the "next two to three years."
The transition will require all Vodafone customers to have 4G enabled handsets, and all of its current 3G networks "in certain areas" will have to be replaced with 5G.
Dona sees 2G having a "longer lifetime" thanks to things like smart meters, where speed isn't of the essence. "You don't need the capacity, you just need it to be ticking away in the background with low power…it doesn't make economic sense to go out and change these devices,” she explained.
Last year, EE announced that it would be converting its 3G airwaves into a 4G signal, so bid farewell to 3G because it's most definitely on its way out.