According to the government, 2G and 3G mobile services will be phased down in the UK by 2033.
Mobile network operators Vodafone, EE, Virgin Media, O2, and Three have agreed on a switch-off date.
EE’s owner, BT, announced plans in July to phase out 3G by 2023 and 2G later in the decade. Many other businesses have already begun to phase out the technology that enables the services.
The change, according to Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, will assist the UK to make an easier transition to speedier networks.
She said that 5G technology is already transforming people’s lives and businesses, providing quicker mobile data to people across the UK and increasing company productivity.
The government also promised a cash boost to assist in future-proofing the UK’s mobile networks, putting an end to the country’s over-reliance on a limited number of suppliers and making it simpler for new equipment manufacturers to enter the market.
According to Assembly Research founder Matthew Howett, the change will most likely occur before the government’s 2033 deadline.
All older devices, including 3G-only mobile phones, will be affected by the switch-off.
Mr. Howett believes it is also critical for the government to act on behalf of customers who may be slow to react.
In July, Amazon issued a warning to users that some of its older Kindle models might be unable to connect to the internet in the near future.
The technology giant informed its US consumers that dome former generation Kindle e-readers will not be able to connect to the internet using a cellular connection through 2G or 3G networks beginning in 2021.
In the meantime, 5G coverage is being expanded across the United Kingdom.
Customers will be able to get 5G “everywhere” in the UK by 2028, according to an announcement made by EE in July.
The phase-out of 2G and 3G will free up the spectrum for next-generation 5G and 6G connections, as well as lower the amount of power required to run multiple networks.
The announcement of the deadline comes as the government sets a goal for Open RAN to carry 35 percent of UK mobile network traffic by 2030.
Dorries, the digital secretary, announced £36 million in financing for 15 Open RAN pilot projects throughout Scotland, Wales, and England, as well as a £15 million cash infusion for Sonic Labs testing facilities in London and Brighton, as part of the objective.
The Labs, which was launched in June with £1 million in seed funding from DCMS, aim to accelerate the development of new 5G-based technologies and reduce the country’s reliance on a small number of providers. They are a joint project between Ofcom and the technology non-profit organization Digital Catapult.