Vodafone Netherlands will kill its 3G network in 2020 to make room for 4G LTE

18 December 2017
Unhappy with the current state of its LTE network, the carrier will switch data connectivity exclusively to 4G.

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  • Sorcerer

Late response: 2G data is active in the Netherlands on all carriers, so the article isn't entirely accurate. Speeds aren't great of course, it's mainly because of the huge number of M2M devices that's active on 2G/GSM with no 3G/UMTS support.

Cell area range in a country with a lot of trees/buildings and dense population is completely irrelevant. The extended range GSM thing afaik is only used in unique areas such as for offshore locations and super high locations such as a few in Australia (I think they're decommissioned now too). The standard 30 km range is good enough almost everywhere and you usually only get in trouble if you're at high altitudes and your phone sees some base stations that are very far away. The Netherlands has no mountains whatsoever, so..

  • DDS

I think it's the right way:
A 3G device has always 2G so it'll keep working (no need to immediate replacement)
2G only device are most M2M or fixed: they need few bandwidth and are often difficult or expensive to upgrade (stuff like home alarms, utility meters, ...) and/or with long life cycle

The wrong choice, at least here, would be killing 2G, it'll make many more appliaces unusable.

For the US guys reading: here in the EU cell radius is not a big concern as many cells ain't bigger than a couple of km.

  • Anonym

Anonymous, 19 Dec 20172.5G has a max range of 30 km to the base station, 3G 1.6 km or ... moreGreatly depends on terrain (and height from sea-level of the tower), but GSM (2G) has its range limited due to the timeslots (something like 72KM in ER GSM -- with tricks maybe over 100KM), while 3G (and 4G) have been show to work over 200KM -- and doesn't have such limitations.

Regular cells are much smaller than this, but if the point is GSM/2G is needed for larger geographical coverage, that is simply not true -- it just happens that is used like that because data rates are so crappy in GSM that telcos use it for bigger coverage (in voice/sms), while they have to put smaller cells in other techs to avoid radio overcrowding (due to all the data consumption).

  • Anonymous

2.5G has a max range of 30 km to the base station, 3G 1.6 km or so (not 100% sure on that one). So for sparsely populated areas (which the Netherlands have quite a bit of), sticking to 2G may be practical for Vodaphone.

  • Anonym

AnonD-546479, 18 Dec 2017For better customer experience & spectrum efficiencyIf they cared about spectrum efficiency, they would've just killed 2G and leave 3G alone.

  • Anonym

Aadrian, 18 Dec 2017I use my Nokia 3310 (2017) for work solely for calling and texti... moreYou should take your work more seriously, even if just for calls, 3G has much MUCH better voice quality/clarity. I'm not even going to talk about fangled things like email, synchronized schedules, documents or even social media engagement.

  • Anonymous

5g is right on the corner and they want to kill 3G? Th´s just silly....

  • AnonD-248589

What will be the backup network?

  • Anonymous

Aadrian, 18 Dec 2017I use my Nokia 3310 (2017) for work solely for calling and texti... moreThis comment is the winner. Period.

This is ridiculous. Shutting down 2G? Ok, it was pretty old. But 3G? I mean... There are still lots of equipment out there that are 2G/3G only. My phon3 (late 2015) is 2G/3G. Fortunately I don't live in the Netherlands, otherwise an unnecessary upgrade would be needed.
This is going too far.

4g? So they will only use gsm for calling and 4g for data? Instead of aiming for 5g that has call and data on the technology. Killing the higher call quality over gsm, is a bad idea.

  • Anonymous

Anonymous, 18 Dec 2017So where 4G signal is weak it will switch to 2G instead of 3G. ... moreNo, Vodafone uses like 8 different bands and all have different frequencies. 1 for 2g, and like 3 for 3g and 4 for 4g. They will shut down the 3g technology, but the frequencies will have 4g now. So it will be like this. 1 band 2g and 7 bands of 4g.

  • Anonymous

So where 4G signal is weak it will switch to 2G instead of 3G.

So instead of faster traffic in theory, service will become slower.

  • Aadrian

I use my Nokia 3310 (2017) for work solely for calling and texting. It has only 2G but I don't need more for that. I am not on Vodafone anyways.

  • AnonD-546479

For better customer experience & spectrum efficiency

  • AlienFromNextDoor

I've got a S7 and I'm using an app to force my phone to use only 2G. There's no reason to use the internet unless I'm on a secure wifi. I actually STILL use my smartphone for reading, listening to music and playing games...not as a glorified browser.

  • Ch3ey

Good call.