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Maximize Customer Experience: Navigating the shift to 5G and sunsetting 2G/3G with SubCell

Updated: Jun 24

Woman smiling and covers her ears

Subtonomy provides the visibility and insight operators need to manage both the roll out of their new 5G networks and the sunsetting of 2G and 3G networks to ensure a customer-centric approach to both.

Customer-centric rather than operationally-centric 2G/3G sunsetting

Mobile network operators have a lot of experience rolling out new networks, expanding network footprints and densifying for increased quality of service. However, they have relatively little experience of switching off older networks and often take an engineering led, operationally-centric approach to doing so.


They leave the task of informing customers to external communications who usually embark on an (expensive) customer information and education program such as #BytNätNu in Sweden. But these programs miss some customers and are ignored by others who don’t understand how the change applies to them. Almost inevitably, they’re left scratching their heads and wondering what they could have done differently when customers begin complaining about the transition. Didn’t they do everything possible to inform them?

Consider Kat's case: content with a basic phone for texting her daughter and calling friends, she's puzzled when it suddenly stops working. Her daughter's concern grows when she can't contact Kat. They realize the phone itself isn't at fault — instead, Kat's network has been discontinued. Upon contacting customer support, they learn that the 3G service is no longer active. Despite a widespread advertising campaign, Kat, nearing her 80s and not a TV viewer, was uninformed. The support team quickly helps them choose a suitable new phone, but the oversight leaves them feeling that the provider failed to protect Kat from the avoidable stress of being disconnected.

Happy senior woman talking on her phone.
By using Subtonomy’s SubCell, Kat's operator can personally contact her to explain the situation and offer a new handset upgrade deal.

Maximize the customer experience during 2G/3G sunsetting with SubCell

But what if instead of just informing customers they took a more personalized and proactive approach to sunsetting? What if they could see exactly who is connected to a cell, what handset they have, and which services they’re using?

This customer-centric level of information complements cell planning data (which is quality of service focused) by providing clear insight into real customer experience and the likely impact of network changes on customers (a customer experience focus), such as sunset of 3G network.

SubCell from Subtonomy provides an accurate geographic visualization of each network and each customer, enabling operations, customer support and marketing teams to work together to create a smooth transition for customers.

SubCell reveals exactly which customers are attached to each cell and can isolate 2G or 3G customers who’ve attached over a period of time and a plan put in place to address their issues and smooth their transition to 4G/5G. This could take the form of a personalized information or marketing campaign to ensure such customers are prepared and transitioned before the network is shut down and maintaining a positive customer relationship.

The telecoms network landscape will continue to evolve as new networks are rolled out and densified and older network equipment is retired.

"Handling complexity and understanding user experience is key to efficient network operations. We use Subtonomy to help us stay efficient in an ever changing environment."


Network Quality, 3 Sweden & Denmark


2G/3G Switch off dates for telecom operators in EMEA






Vodafone 31/04/2024



Telenet 30/09/2024



Hrvatski Telekom 31/12/2022

T-Mobile 22/03/2024

Czech Republic


Vodafone 30/11/2021

T-Mobile 31/12/2021



Telia 01/04/2021

Telenor 31/07/2022

TDC 31/12/2022



Telia 31/01/2023

Elisa 31/12/2025

Tele2 31/12/2025



DNA 31/01/2023

Telia 31/01/2023

Elisa 31/01/2023


Orange 31/12/2025

SFR 31/12/2026

Bouygues 31/12/2026

Orange 31/12/2028

SFR 31/12/2028

Bouygues 31/12/2029



Vodafone 30/06/2021

Telekom 30/06/2021

Telefonica 31/12/2021



Cosmote 31/12/2021

Vodafone 31/12/2022

Nova 31/03/2023

Vodafone-Panafon Hellenic Telecommunications Company 30/06/2023



Magyar Telekom 30/06/2022

Vodafone 30/11/2022

Telenor 31/01/2023

Yettel 31/10/2023


Siminn 31/12/2024

IMC Island 31/12/2024

Syn hf. 31/12/2025

Siminn 31/12/2025

Nova 31/12/2025

Syn 31/12/2025



Vodafone 31/12/2023



Vodafone 01/02/2021



Ooredoo 30/06/2023


Swisscom 01/01/2021

Telecom Liechtenstein 31/01/2021

Swisscom 31/01/2024



Telia 01/03/2022



Post 31/07/2022



Makedonski Telekom 31/07/2022



Vodafone 31/04/2024


T-Mobile Netherlands 01/06/2023

KPN 31/03/2022

North Macedonia


Telekom 31/03/2024



Telenor 31/12/2021


Orange 31/12/2030

T-Mobile 01/01/2023



Vodafone 31/03/2022

MEO 31/01/2024



Telekom Romania Mobile Communications 01/07/2022

Vodafone 31/01/2023

Saudi Arabia


STC 31/12/2022


Orange 31/12/2030

Slovak Telekom 31/12/2022

A1 30/06/2023

O2 31/01/2024


A1 31/12/2030




Vodafone 31/04/2024


Telia 31/12/2025

Tele2 31/12/2025

Telenor 31/12/2025

Telia 31/12/2023

Tele2 01/12/2025

Telenor 31/12/2025


Sunrise 31/12/2022

Sunrise 01/07/2025


Etisalat 31/12/2022

Emirates Integrated Telecoms Company 31/12/2022



EE 31/12/2025Vodafone 31/12/2025

Vodafone 31/01/2024

EE 31/01/2024

3UK 31/12/2024

O2 01/01/2025


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