It continues, but without fanfare, it switch off of the telephone networks. Different and parallel to that of the DTTactually this second switch off has the same purpose as the first one: to make room for 5G telephone frequencies. Specifically, saying goodbye to frequencies 3G and to all incompatible smartphones and SIMs with the latest technology.
After several referrals, all the major Italian telephone operators, from Vodafone to TIMwith their respective virtual operators, but also Wind Tre And Fastweb (which relies on the Wind Tre network), have already turned off the 3G network or are doing it in recent weeks. Everything will end by October and, exactly as has already happened for the digital terrestrial switch off, that of the telephone networks is not happening all over Italy at the same time but progressively, from municipality to municipality. TIM began the last shutdown of the network in mid-June and it will end in mid-Octoberexactly like Fastweb which these days is warning its customers about the imminent switch off.
Switch off 3G: who has to change smartphone
The switch off of 3G consists, trivially, in shutdown of the 3G network. So only the 2G, 4G and 5G networks (where already present) remain active. You might think that since 4G no phone has used 3G anymore, but It is not so because the smartphones that will have problems after the switch off are not only those only 3G.
A phone that is unable to hook up to the 4G network now takes advantage of that 3G is that 2G. Internet performance is clearly low, but for some it may be enough because all the basic features are there. Without 3GHowever, things change because the only network compatible with the phone remains 2G.
However, even those who have a certain type of 4G smartphone could have serious problems with the switch off of 3G: these are the very first models of 4G smartphones, those not yet equipped with the technology. 4G VoLTE (Voice over LTE). This technology makes it possible to transform the telephone call into a data stream and transmit it via 4G data network (basically as if it were a WhatsApp call).
Anyone who has this technology in their phone can talk and surf online at the same time, even if the only network it picks up is 4G. Those who do not have this technology, on the other hand, if they do not have a second network (especially 3G), cannot surf and talk at the same time.
In practice: if both 3G and 4G networks are available, then the phone not equipped with VoLTE passes the call on 3G network and navigation on 4G. But if 3G isn’t there, then it can’t because without VoLTE technology he cannot send the call over the data network.
Because of turning off the 3G network
At this point, however, it is legitimate to ask because the 3G network is turned off and, above all, why 3G and not 2G. The 3G network is turned off because in Italy the legislation on electromagnetic emissions from telephone repeaters is very strict (one of the most stringent in all of Europe) and prevents operators from exceeding certain limits, very low.
Limits are calculated for each single transmission siteso if on a tower today there are 2G, 3G and 4G antennas, one of these antennas must be turned off, otherwise the limits of electromagnetic pollution as soon as the new 5G antenna is turned on. The operators, for technical reasons, have chosen to turn off the 3G network and not 2G.
The 2G network, in fact, is the one with the better coverage and the greater stability signal. Of course, it is a very old, slow and limited network but it has a great advantage: it takes good everywhere and, for this reason, it is kept active above all for emergencyso that if a user needs to make a lifesaving call (ambulance, law enforcement, emergency numbers) they can.
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