TECH SUPPLIER Jan 2022 - Market Perspective - Doc # US47294821

The End of the 3G Era — Implications and Opportunities for Mobile and IoT Connectivity Providers


Jason Leigh
Sandra Wendelken

This IDC Market Perspective examines the factors at play in sunsetting 3G networks and highlights the pain points for key constituents that haven't migrated off of 3G. 2022 will see all three major U.S. mobile network operators turn down their 3G networks. Lagging 3G network usage, combined with the better performance of 4G and 5G networks, and a need for spectrum to bolster 5G ambitions are key factors in the decision to turn the lights out on 3G. While the decision drivers are clear, some mobile and IoT customers continue to linger on 3G.

"While mobile operators have articulated clear timelines and provided multiple delays and postponements, the shutdown of 3G networks will inevitably be challenging for a limited number of 3G mobile and IoT users who have lagged in their upgrades to 4G and 5G," says Jason Leigh, research manager, 5G and Mobile Services at IDC. "But the finality of 3G in 2022 is a natural part of the cellular networking evolution and a necessary development to allow next-generation 5G connectivity to flourish."



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