The Solution to 2G Fallback and 3G Sunsetting | Syniverse

The Solution to 2G Fallback and 3G Sunsetting: VoLTE

When a more advanced network like 4G or 5G can’t be used, devices switch to a 3G fallback. This ensures uninterrupted connectivity and consistent performance. However, as 3G sunsets, all that is left is the 2G network which can’t provide reliable service to customers.

Be prepared for 3G Sunsetting with Evolved Mobility!

What Is 3G Fallback?

When an advanced network like 4G isn’t available, devices undergo a 3G fallback to support voice and SMS features. However, with 3G sunsetting, they default to an unreliable 2G fallback.

Telecommunication companies are taking steps to phase out and eventually shut down 3G networks. This is being done to prioritize more advanced and efficient networks like 4G LTE and 5G by freeing resources and bandwidth.

The 3G sunsetting process will affect devices that use 3G fallback from 4G and 5G networks. This can include certain home security systems, medical devices, and in-car services.

How Does CS Fallback Work?

CSFB is a technology that guarantees the delivery of voice services to LTE devices. LTE networks are designed primarily for data transmission. When they handle voice calls, circuit switched fallback (CSFB) allows LTE devices to switch between 2G or 3G networks.

Once the call is over, it will reconnect to the LTE network for data services. Voice over LTE (VoLTE) makes it possible to call through LTE networks without relying on older technologies.

The Drawbacks of 2G Fallback after 3G Sunset

The 3G sunset date varies for each telecommunication carrier, but most have stopped supporting 3G cellular services since December 31, 2022. This leads to several problems for users because 2G networks can’t support voice and data simultaneously. Below are some of the challenges users will face.

Poor User Experience

The limitations of the 2G platform hinder user experience for subscribers who rely on uninterrupted voice and data services. Its inability to handle voice and data simultaneously fails to meet the demands of users who require constant access to data. This creates a poor user experience, compromising cellular connectivity and functionality.

Poor Voice Quality

Offloading high traffic volumes onto the limited 2G spectrum would severely affect quality and user experience. Devices that switch to a 2G or 3G fallback for voice calls may result in a noticeable decline in voice quality. The immense volume of legacy voice minutes per month will be compromised. This is why network operators must explore alternative solutions to a 3G fallback.

Internet of Things (IoT) Business

The decision to reallocate additional traffic after 3G sunsets onto a 2G network with limited spectrum is concerning. Considering the potential impact on capacity and latency is important, as it restricts support for future IoT growth. This could hinder ability to handle increased data traffic and its performance in meeting the demands of emerging IoT technologies.

5G Rollout

As 5G technology usage increases, the current 2G infrastructure will be repurposed to increase 5G coverage. While devices can currently use a 2G fallback, a 2G network sunset is inevitable in the future. The current maintenance of a 2G fallback is only temporary, and it isn’t a lasting solution to 3G fallback.

What is 3G to VoLTE?

Moving from 3G to VoLTE (Voice over LTE) means altering the way voice calls are managed on a cellular network. It’s a significant transition that impacts how communication is handled.

The 3G network utilizes outdated circuit-switched technology for voice calls. Each call establishes a dedicated circuit between the caller and receiver, remaining connected for the entire call duration.

VoLTE is a feature found in 4G networks and newer ones that utilize packet-switched technology. Rather than establishing a separate circuit, VoLTE divides voice data into smaller packets and transmits them across the network. Using this technology has more efficient use of network resources and ensures better voice call quality. Additionally, it facilitates the simultaneous use of both voice and data services.

Take Advantage of Evolved Mobility

Evolved Mobility is the ideal solution for operators during a 3G sunset. Operators may still want to cater to inbound roamers from home operators that don’t offer VoLTE roaming. Syniverse’s platform enables operators to efficiently manage their 3G fallback inbound roaming traffic by offloading it. 

This solution ensures they can handle the traffic without needing a 2G fallback. The transition to a VoLTE roaming environment can be made seamlessly, even if the home operator doesn’t support VoLTE.

Be prepared for 3G Sunsetting with Evolved Mobility!

( Product Owner- Senior Director )

As Product Owner- Senior Director, Brian Beach oversees the Evolved Mobility product portfolio for VoLTE to 3G roaming as used by tier 1 US operators today. This addresses their 3G sunset concerns and provides a gentle pathway to true VoLTE roaming. Brian has a long breadth of experience in IMS services that reside on Syniverse’s IPX (Internetwork Packet Exchange) network, including VoLTE (Voice over LTE), VoWiFi, Video over LTE and RCS (Rich Communications Services). He joined Syniverse as a member of the Research and Development team in 2005, when he began working with IMS and next-generation messaging, leading the technical aspects of the Fixed Mobile Convergence Alliance (FMCA) global presence and IMS trials. Mr. Beach later moved into the Product Management department where he spearheaded the company’s IMS Exchange product – a session aware P2P Hub for RCS and VoLTE interconnect. Over the last several years he has been focusing on roaming solutions to help operators address the oncoming legacy sunsets that will create a significant roaming gap between VoLTE and non-VoLTE operators. Mr. Beach holds a Master of Science in computer science from the University of Tennessee.



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