comScore reported early this week that over 110 million phone subscribers in America have used a smartphone to connect, chat, texting, and watching video, the demand for feature phones have decreased significantly in the past few years. There are only two popular smartphone makers including Samsung and Apple, which controlled over 50% worldwide smartphone market share. AT&T believes that about 62% of its customers have already used smartphones as a means to placing a call, sending texting, watching movie and TV, and accessing mobile web.
Due to lack of demand and high cost of maintaining 2G network, AT&T decided that the America’s largest mobile operator is going to close its 2G wireless network on January 1, 2017. In the company’s submission form to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), dated on August 3, AT&T stated that the company will ask its customers to switch to 3G/4G services. According to AT&T, only 12% of its subscribers still use 2G handset by the end of the latest quarter which ended on June 30, 2012. This is equal to about 8.4 million subscribers.
AT&T introduced the 2G network in the early 1990's. The 2G network usually is also known as Global System for Mobile Communications, or GSM. AT&T started to offer 4G services since September 2011. One of the biggest advantage of 4G is users will experience very fast speed to access web. There are still few models of 4G handsets including Samsung 4G Galaxy S III and Nokia Lumia 900. The world’s largest mobile devices company Apple plans to launch the4G phones in October.