Carriers in numerous countries worldwide have shutdown 2G networks to free spectrum for 4G and 5G services. Embedded modems such as automotive (OnStar) and alarm systems may again be impacted by these shutdowns. In developing regions 2G networks may linger for several more years, due to cost-effective legacy devices.
Those designing IoT and other embedded devices with cellular modems should consider LPWA 4G LTE, particularly Cat M1 and NB1 to help ensure global functionality. Each geopolitical region has unique LTE bands, but often OEM modules with the same pinout have region-specific models. OEM LTE modules will incorporate at least some bands for each region, so that global LTE roaming for even inexpensive LTE modems will become increasingly common.
2G shutdown dates from Digi
The USA 1G AMPS and 2G D-AMPS networks were shutdown in 2008. In June 2013, Sprint shutdown the Nextel iDEN network for LTE band 26.