Enhancing LTE capacity by disabling certain 2G or 3G services


When it comes to enhancing LTE capacity, certain networks may have to disable their 2G or 3G services.

This process poses numerous challenges and requires careful preparation.

For instance, deactivating both 2G and 3G technologies necessitates the activation of VoLTE and other associated features.

To begin, it is important to conduct a thorough analysis of network traffic and coverage load.

Are there any previous studies conducted in this regard?

Any advice on this matter would be greatly valued.

The first issue is the 4G handset penetration as well as VoLTE compatible.

Yes, this is one main factor that must be considered.

Yes the most important.

VoLTE should be enabled (or VoNR) and LTE coverage is country wide extended.

I need to prepare study plan for shutdown the 3G carriers and use the spectrum for 4G as expansion in BW.

Does anyone have any suggestions / study / steps?

Factoring as 3G 4G?

Operational cost , traffic loss, revenue increasing.

Thanks in advance.

First step would be to find out the 3G subscribers.

And alert them through SMS to upgrade their handset to 4G to continue using data services.

Next concern would be voice.

If you have 2G, there won’t be any issue but if you have have only 4G then you may need to check further if all the 4G subscribers have VoLTE capability.

Analysing these may give you a rough idea.

I have 2G-3G and 4G.

But the CS traffic on 3G is high as well.

The plan is to activating the VoLTE and VAMOS.

In this case you may loose those customers who are using 3G services for data.

If you get the percentage of those customers, it may give you a rough estimate of revenue loss.

But you may gain 4G customers and it will compensate your losses.

Also by switching off 3G you are decreasing operational cost.

Is service HO to 2G enabled in 3G currently?

How is the CS traffic in 2G?

Whether it is being fully utilized?

Hi. Technical steps depends from equipment vendor: units capacity, is it need to change units or not, change radios or not, etc.

From subs side: how many UEs support 4G.

I believe most cases fully positive.

One 3G carrrier is enough for Voice.

It has threats but same time has opportunity as well, in term of 4G revenue.

It has weekness as the 2G might not handle that much CS traffic which moved from 3G to 2G but it has strengh as the cost of 3G carriers will be end.

Yes, gain is huge… So many operators are actually doing this.


I was looking to study case to start, and i found this:

Factors that may contribute to the decision of shutting down a 3G network in the context of Ericsson vendor.

Here are a few key considerations:

  • Network Evolution: The telecommunications industry has been transitioning towards more advanced technologies such as 4G LTE and 5G to meet the growing demand for higher data speeds, capacity, and improved network performance. As a result, older technologies like 3G become less relevant and may no longer align with the network’s long-term strategic goals.

  • Spectrum Efficiency: Spectrum is a limited resource, and with the emergence of newer technologies, operators have an opportunity to refarm the existing 3G spectrum for more efficient use. Shutting down the 3G network allows operators to repurpose the spectrum for newer technologies, which can provide better quality of service and accommodate more users.

  • Cost Optimization: Maintaining multiple generations of networks, such as 2G, 3G, and 4G, requires significant investments in terms of operational costs, equipment maintenance, and energy consumption. By decommissioning the 3G network, operators can streamline their operations, reduce costs, and allocate resources more efficiently.

  • Customer Migration: Over time, the majority of subscribers migrate to newer technologies, such as 4G and 5G, as they offer superior data speeds and a richer set of services. By shutting down the 3G network, operators can encourage customers to upgrade their devices and subscriptions, leading to a more homogeneous and efficient network ecosystem.

  • Technology Obsolescence: As newer technologies emerge, vendors like Ericsson focus their research, development, and support on those technologies. This means that the vendor may eventually phase out support for older technologies like 3G, making it challenging for operators to maintain and troubleshoot issues in the network.

It’s important to note that these factors are general considerations and may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the operator and their network. Operators typically perform thorough assessments, considering various technical, financial, and operational aspects before making the decision to shut down a network technology like 3G.