London: The UK will phase out 2G and 3G mobile networks by 2033 as part of measures to increase the security of telecommunication supply chains and to make room for 5G expansion and faster future networks, the government announced on Wednesday.
“5G technology is already revolutionising people’s lives and businesses – connecting people across the UK with faster mobile data and making businesses more productive. Today we are announcing a further £50 million [$66.2 million] to put the UK at the forefront of mobile connectivity and to make sure our telecoms networks are safe and secure now and in the future,” Culture and Digital Minister Nadine Dorries said in a statement.
According to Dorries, setting a date for shutting down 2G and 3G mobile networks will make it easier for new equipment makers to enter the market, because they will not have to support the older technologies.
The announcement was made ahead of her four-day visit to the United States to meet with her US counterpart Gina Raimondo and other senior ministers and officials “to build cooperation on her digital and tech priorities.”
In July 2020, following intense pressure from Washington, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that UK operators will have seven years to completely remove the Chinese telecom giant Huawei from the UK’s 5G infrastructure.