3G Network Shutdown in the USA: Ripple effect in the African Market.

In November 2021, the US telecommunications regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the gradual shutdown of 3G networks across the country commencing in January 2022. In line with this, the three major telecom providers have announced dates for sunsetting their 3G networks. The first is AT&T with Feb. 22, 2022 as its last day for 3G; T-Mobile set July 1, 2022 as its sunset date, while Verizon will be keeping3G on till the very last day of 2022. The consequence of this action is that 3G devices will gradually stop working in the USA. This is part of efforts to drive investment and adoption of 4G/5G network standard. However, the consequences of this action will not be isolated to the USA. This article explores some of the major ripple effects for the African marketplace, such as the second-hand device market, investment in 2G/3G networks, and any plans in place for moving to the 4G/5G standard or transiting away from 2G/3G.