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Recorded Webinar “What Does the 2G/3G Sunset Mean for IoT Connectivity?” with Questions & Answers

Telenor IoT recently held a webinar on how to prepare for the 2G/3G sunset. Watch the recorded webinar here and read the questions and answers below. 

Questions & Answers from the Webinar

Will Voice & SMS still work?

Yes, Voice and SMS will still be available after the 2G and 3G sunset but solved in different ways.

When it comes to Voice the old Circuit Switched (CS) call technology will be replaced with VoLTE (Voice over LTE i.e. Voice over 4G). For this to work your device need to have VoLTE capabilities.

When it comes to SMS there are several options.

Many operators will continue to support the existing SMS over SGs (MAP signaling) method for some years even after the 2G and 3G radio networks are shout down. The LTE device could already today access this via “dual attach”. We assume that over time MNO´s will deprecate this solution.

There are two “new” technologies to send SMS that will replace the existing SGs method.

1)     SMS over IP (SMS over IMS)
This will be standard for mobile phones that support IMS and VoLTE. But it requires the device to support IMS and that is not always the case for IoT devices. We assume that most operators will support this.

2)     SMS over SGd (SMS over Diameter)
This is more suitable for a IoT device when it does not require IMS support.  
This is still at an early stage for many operators, but according to GSMA study’s this is assumed to be the most used technology for IoT scenarios.  

Will DTMF work in 4G? For example, call centre cases?

VoLTE does support DTMF.

Is there a reliable list of the countries which are already shut down, or under planning?

GSMA publishes information based on information that has been provided by operators, but there could be operators that has chosen not to publish their sunset plans.

Will there be any smaller companies that will take over and run and maintain the 2G and 3G after they are shut down by the larger telecom companies?

We are not aware of any such arrangements. It should be noted that for this to take place, both spectrum assets as well as infrastructure assets (base stations, antennas, …) has to be taken over by the new entity and maintained, while a strong driver for sunsetting legacy networks is to be able to re-farm spectrum and reuse space on sites/towers for new technologies. Hence it seems unlikely that such arrangements will be made in any larger extent.

When it comes to roaming globally, is there a plan available for the MNO’s initiative to implement NB IoT?

It is more challenging to set up roaming for NB-IoT compared to for example LTE-M and that is reflected in the numbers of existing NB-IoT roaming agreements and the rate at which new ones are being rolled out. That said, rollout is ongoing also for NB-IoT.

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