The arrival of 5G networks has led operators and regulators to consider shutting down older mobile legacy networks. The coming period up to 2025 is thus expected to be the one with the most 2G and 3G network sunsets ever.
The shutdown of legacy networks allows MNOs to refarm spectrum and shift frequencies towards new and more spectral-efficient networks.
By reducing the number of mobile generations supported and accompanying the migration processes, MNOs will be able to reduce their expenses, including OpEx.

This extensive bottom-up study covers 15 countries and more than 40 MNOs and offers:

  • A state of the art of mobile network evolution
  • Best practices for network shutdown
  • Regulatory issues related to the shutdown process
  • Opportunities and challenges of the transition
  • A detailed overview of MNO strategies in 15 countries

Table of contents

1. Executive Summary

2. State of the art
• The evolution of mobile networks
• Network decommissioning
• Network shutdowns become more numerous
• Selection of countries where 2G/3G are no longer supported
• Key announced drivers for shutting down old network

3. Shutdown best practices
• Best practices for a successful legacy network shutdown process
• Best marketing levers for a successful legacy network shutdown
• Secure the IoT customer base with specific actions

4. Regulatory issues
• Different degrees of regulatory involvement
• Shutdown processes mainly led by MNOs

5. Opportunities
• 4G and 5G much more efficient than 2G or 3G
• Less users in older technologies
• Spectrum influences how the network is designed
• Getting additional spectrum
• DSS eases the transition from NSA to 5G SA
• Main paths to reduce energy consumption
• Replacement of old network equipment (2G/3G/4G)

6. Challenging issues
• Manage the transition efficiently and in advance
• IoT business
• IoT technologies over cellular

7. Overview of country and MNO strategies
7.1. China
7.2. Czech Republic
7.3. France
7.4. Germany
7.5. Italy
7.6. Japan
7.7. Netherlands
7.8. Norway
7.9. Singapore
7.10. South Korea
7.11. Spain
7.12. Switzerland
7.13. Taiwan
7.14. United Kingdom
7.15. United States

Geographic area

  • China
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
North America
  • United States


  • 3 UK
  • AT&T
  • Bouygues Telecom
  • China Mobile
  • China Telecom
  • China Unicom
  • Chunghwa
  • Far EasTone
  • Grupo Masmovil
  • Ice
  • Illiad FR/IT
  • KDDI
  • KPN
  • KT
  • LGU+
  • NTT DoCoMo
  • Orange ES/FR
  • O2 CZ/UK
  • Salt
  • SFR
  • SingTel
  • SKT
  • SoftBank
  • StarHub
  • Sunrise
  • Swisscom
  • Taiwan Mobile
  • Telefonica ES/GER
  • Telia No
  • Telenor
  • TIM
  • T-Mobile USA/GER/CZ/NL
  • Verizon
  • Vodafone ES/UK/IT/CZ/GER
  • VodafoneZiggo NL
  • WindTre

Other details

  • Reference: M00047MRA
  • Delivery: on the DigiWorld Interactive platform
  • Languages available: English
  • Tags: 2G, 3G, iot, MNOs, mobile networks, network decommissioning, network shutdown, Spectrum

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