The discussion about the rollout and impact of 5G has dominated the telco sector for a number of years, as the industry looks to the future for new markets to conquer.

But we can’t forget about our past - before 5G there was 4G. And 3G, 2G, and 1G before that. The launch of 2G in 1991 marked the beginning of digital mobile telecommunications, while 3G in 2001 was when it really hit its stride.

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As with everything, there's a shelf life, and 3G services have reached a limit, with 2G services facing similar limitations as operators around the world switch these legacy systems off.

But what does any of this mean, and why does it matter? Well, Wireless Logic Group chief product officer Paul Bullock explains why the need to switch off 3G is necessary for the future of 5G.

The refarming of the spectrum is essential to driving the full potential of what 5G can do and ultimately bring, explained Bullock.

“Modern mobile core technology is not focused on 2G or 3G, so as operators want to upgrade their infrastructure, having to maintain the services either imposes greater costs on them or substantially limits what they can do with their upgrades,” he said.

It’s not just 5G, he adds, noting that IoT will gain a lot from the switch off of this service, although he acknowledges that 2G will be more of a challenge to phase out.

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