Currently 2G service is used by only 12% of the carrier’s wireless subscribers. But that still amounts to more than 8 million users, the Wall Street Journal notes.
The slower data system has been superseded by faster 3G and 4G LTE networks. The demand for faster data transmission has been driven by increasing numbers of smartphone and tablet users who download media content to their mobile devices.
As users switch to faster data networks, maintaining the older service becomes an unnecessary expense for carriers.
AT&T’s 2G network dates back to the 1990′s, making it positively ancient in the fast-evolving wireless industry. The company is rapidly rolling out 4G service as a selling point for high end smartphones like Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest iPhone and smartphones using Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system.
The company, which no longer offers mobile devices compatible with the 2G system, indicated its plans to shelve the network in documents filed with federal regulators.