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Orange to phase out 2G, 3G by 2030 across Europe

Orange will gradually phase out its 2G and 3G technologies from 2025 to 2030 across its European operations. The local context together with an analysis of actual network usage in each country has been taken into account in the phasing-out program so as to ensure a seamless migration towards an improved customer experience with minimized impact on customers.

As a result, the decommissioning of its 2G and 3G networks will take place in two phases: in France, where national 3G coverage is historically higher than 2G coverage, Orange will decommission its 2G network by the end of 2025, whilst 3G will be phased out by the end of 2028. For the other countries – Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Spain – 3G will be switched off by 2025 and the remaining legacy technologies (2G) will be phased out by 2030 depending on each subsidiary’s specific plans (1) .

Switching off 2G and 3G technologies will enable Orange to optimize the management of its networks and upgrade its networks towards secured, resilient, energy efficient and modern technologies such as 4G and 5G. The radio frequencies currently used for 2G and 3G will be used to improve the overall capacity and coverage of 4G and 5G networks both in urban and rural areas. Mobile customers will benefit from an upgraded experience with higher voice quality over VoLTE, higher throughput and lower latency for data and improved security, without any impact on their offers for nearly all of them. Orange will work closely with IoT customers to identify amongst the range of future-proof technologies, the best IoT connectivity alternative according to their specific needs. Orange will advise and support its enterprise customers through their migration path.

Orange’s sustainability and responsibility targets set out in its Engage 2025 strategy played a pivotal role in influencing the Group’s network modernization roadmap towards more energy efficient technologies. By anticipating the switch-over now, any necessary upgrades to mobile devices and network equipment will take place within the natural renewal circle, avoiding unnecessary waste. Legacy devices and network equipment will be recycled through Orange’s recycling and refurbishing programs.

“Phasing out legacy technologies such as 2G and 3G is a major part of our plan to position ourselves as a leading European network operator and to bring our customers the best connectivity possible” said Michaël Trabbia, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for the Orange group. “By removing obsolete technological layers and pooling our resources, we can focus on building future-proof, resilient, automated, energy efficient and optimized networks. As a result, customers will benefit from more efficient and sustainable networks leading to an enhanced user experience. This focus on maximizing the efficiency of our networks will also contribute to reducing our carbon emissions and help us meet our sustainability targets of becoming ‘Net Zero’ by 2040.”

CT Bureau

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