KPN will stop using the 3G network in the Netherlands in 2022. This network is being turned off because fewer and fewer organizations are using it and KPN wants to use these frequencies for the 4G and 5G networks. This will make 4G and 5G even faster, safer and more stable.
Many IoT devices have been functioning for many years, but of course often still have a communication module that cannot handle 4G. Usually these contain the option to connect to a 2G network.
The moment the 3G network is no longer available and the communication module does contain the option to connect to the 2G network, the internet speed will be significantly slower. You must carefully analyze whether this is still sufficient for your solution. It is no longer possible to use voice and data simultaneously. Also, the sound quality of the call will be less.
KPN’s 2G network will be available in the Netherlands until at least April 2025. For those solutions that want to use the mobile network for an (even) longer period of time, it is wise to develop other options in addition to 2G in the long run. For example 4G or LTE-M.
If you have a communication module that can also handle 4G, the IoT device will be able to connect to the 4G network.
If the IoT device is located outside the Netherlands, there will be no consequences for this phase-out. It remains possible to use the 2G and 3G networks of those operators. The data traffic will still be sent to your back-end system (or to the internet) via KPN’s mobile network. Please note, other operators in the world are also working on their network modernization. 2G and/or 3G networks can also be switched off there, see the article 2G/3G sunset for more information.
Within KPN’s network, the frequencies 900 MHz and 2,100 MHz are used. The 2,100 MHz signal will already be transferred to the 4G network in the coming period. This is expected to be fully transferred by the end of 2021. In 2022, the 900 MHz within 3G will also be turned off and then deployed for 4G.