The sunset of 2G and 3G networks is approaching rapidly – and why you should rely on cloud-native solutions to get ready

The sunset of 2G and 3G networks is approaching rapidly. With 4G and 5G being pervasively deployed in many regions, the issue of shutting down legacy networks has become an ardent topic. Several players in the industry have already decommissioned their legacy networks while others have announced their intentions to do the same. Mobile networks are in a midst of radical change, in which operators have to cater for the exponential growth and demand for data traffic. As a consequence, operators are faced with choosing between legacy or cloud-native infrastructure solutions.

Why act now and prepare for the sunset of 2G and 3G networks?

There are several reasons why operators are shutting down 2G and 3G networks. Freeing up spectrum, expected cost efficiency, as well as government regulations are some of the major driving forces. 


First, spectrum is physically limited and the most expensive resource of a mobile operator. 4G and 5G networks allow for more efficient use of spectrum. Second, consumer behavior is changing, as customers demand more data and high-speed connectivity, while not wanting to spend as much for the service, which reduces the operator’s overall revenues. To meet this demand, operators need to think about cost-efficiency.  Apart from being faster, the total cost-of-ownership (TCO) is drastically lower for 4G and 5G networks compared to 2G and 3G, while spectrum efficiency is higher. Third, the shutdown is also being incentivized by authorities as many regions have set up regulations and deadlines to decommission 2G/3G networks. 


With this movement being accelerated, operators that do not adapt might be left behind. With their peers moving to 4G/ 5G, operators that still rely on their legacy networks will face challenges with outdated service offerings and an overwhelming cost structure. 


Voice is one of the main services that still rely on legacy networks. For voice services, the use of VoLTE/ VoNR has become the norm in the industry. The migration to 4G/ 5G, in this case, not only allows operators to provide a better service, improving the customer‘s experience, but also drastically reduces voice production costs.

Moving into a cloud-native 4G/ 5G network infrastructure

The shutdown of 2G/3G also offers an opportunity for operators to modernize their infrastructure to face growing demand: Deploying a cloud-native mobile infrastructure can bring benefits in terms of cost reduction, flexibility, and scalability, and open up new revenue opportunities. 


Moving into a cloud-native architecture can massively reduce both CAPEX and OPEX expenditures. The software-based approach allows significant levels of automation of the entire development, deployment, and maintenance process and reduces the overall resource footprint, driving down not only the need for CPU and memory, but also the related operational costs such as power consumption, space, and headcounts. 


In addition to lower costs, cloud-native solutions allow increased flexibility. Being standard-compliant and following a CI/CD approach, cloud-native networks are flexible, and easy to deploy and integrate, also reducing the time-to-market of new services and features. They also scale up and down, thus very quickly adapting to increases or decreases in subscribers while offering the same quality of service and reliability as legacy networks solutions. 


Furthermore, with a cloud-native infrastructure, operators are able to innovate on their service offering, creating business cases in areas previously discarded for being financially unattractive (e.g. rural areas), and serving new markets like the private networks/IoT business.

Deploying voice services on 4G/5G networks with ng-voice’s fully containerized and cloud-native IMS core

ng-voice is the right partner for you in the migration to 4G and 5G, offering a VoLTE/VoRN solution that is truly cloud-native and containerized. 


ng-voice’s cloud-native IMS core is the first 100% containerized and Kubernetes-based fully-fledged IMS solution on the market – the critical component to deploy voice services on 4G/ 5G networks. Its major aspects of innovation are:


  • Smallest container sizes: Due to the clever slicing of our services, the image size for our sub-components was reduced to under 25 MB
  • Rapid service delivery: reduces the time of deployment and optimizes the lifecycle management of the application
  • Minimized resources footprint: it consumes only 2.5 vCPU and 3.1 GB of memory for an average enterprise network 
  • Flexible business model: our business model is adapted based on customer needs, reducing our customer’s overall capital expenditures.

Made-in-Germany, ng-voice’s solutions adhere to the highest security and data protection standards. To learn more about our solutions, please contact our team at

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Abdul Basit Alvi

Chief Technologist Cloud and Virtualization

Publisher Bio

With vast experience in virtualizing the mobile core of network operators and developing cloud-native solutions, Basit has implemented Pakistan’s first fully virtualized IMS to launch VoLTE capabilities in tier-1 operators. Abdul Basit is passionate about cloud, automation and Dev-Ops tools and enjoys his time off exploring new cities and towns.

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