In the next few years, fourth-generation communication networks (LTE) in Russia may completely replace the outdated 3G standard. This was reported by Izvestia with reference to the data of Tele2 and Megafon. The forecast is based on the fact that the limited frequency spectrum encourages its release for more advanced technologies that allow you to pass large amounts of traffic.
Despite this, experts are confident that the 2G standard, which appeared in the 90s, which allows only voice to be transmitted, will not lose its relevance for a long time to come. Tele2 believes that 4G will finally supplant 3G in Russia in the next 3-5 years, as VoLTE technology (voice over LTE) continues to gain momentum. It is noted that crowding out can occur even faster than in the case of 2G. Megafon also allows such a development of the market, noting that the 2G standard may remain relevant for the next decade and will be completely decommissioned later than 3G.
Tele2 also noted that the share of 3G devices is declining faster than the number of handsets with 2G support. As of April of this year, the share of 2G devices in Tele2 networks was 20%, while the penetration rate of smartphones with 3G was only 16%. The press service of the operator noted that due to the reasonable price between devices with 3G and 4G, Internet users when choosing a new gadget choose something more advanced, as a rule, supporting LTE. At the same time, there are practically no alternatives to devices with 2G, so people who need only voice communication are in no hurry to refuse such phones.
The source notes that the situation that has arisen due to the coronavirus pandemic may prompt operators to decommission 3G more quickly, since freed up frequencies can be involved in building fifth-generation communication networks (5G). This is due to the fact that recently the volumes of traffic consumed by Russians have increased sharply and operators have to work more actively to modernize the existing network infrastructure.
The assumption that 3G in our country will cease to be used much faster than 2G is supported by many representatives of telecommunications companies. For example, according to Yulia Klebanova, Qualcomm vice president of business development in Eastern Europe, the typical formula for the development of mobile communications is as follows: “We support 2G, we close 3G, we expand 4G, we build 5G”.
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