As mobile network operators around the world look to build out their fledgling 5G networks and reinforce their 4G and LTE networks, they must continue to be mindful of the ongoing importance of 2G and 3G services, according to a report by the GSMA.
The report claims that by 2025, two-thirds of mobile network connections will be made over 4G and 5G networks, according to a CommsMEA report.
However, 2G and 3G connectivity will continue to play a pivotal role in connecting billions of people across the planet, particularly in the worlds developing economies.
Indeed, in portions of Africa, India and South America, 2G and 3G services will continue to handle the majority of traffic through to 2025.
GSMA research shows that even in developed markets, 3G is still playing a crucial role, with 20 per cent of US mobile traffic still being delivered over 3G networks.
The story is the same throughout Europe, where legacy networks will continue to play a crucial role.
“We are at the dawn of a new era in mobile with the imminent launch of the first 5G networks and the Internet of Things poised to further transform the way we live and work,” said Mats Granryd, director-general of the GSMA.
“Meanwhile, operators continue to expand and upgrade their 4G networks in order to provide an evolutionary path into the 5G era, and also evolve their offerings to unlock new revenue streams in areas such as e-commerce, content, lifestyle, advertising and marketing, and identity and security.
In the years ahead, mobile network operators will need to balance the capital expenditure demands of deploying their 5G networks and extending the reach of their 4G and LTE networks, with the operational expense of continuing to run their legacy network infrastructure.
In order to do this, they will need to consolidate as many aspects of their mobile network infrastructure as possible.