During the introduction of 5G, there was always talk of shutting down the 3G networks. But hardly anyone talked about the even older 2G standard. But you can voluntarily do without 2G.
- 2G is also a security risk these days.
- Google phones can switch off 2G.
- However, emergency calls are always possible via 2G.
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At some point over time, a new option to turn off 2G radios ended up in the Pixel phones’ connection settings. However, that passed me and a few colleagues by. But it is true. In the SIM card area, at the very end of the settings list, there is a switch that turns off the 2G radio.
Emergency calls are still possible via 2G, according to the description of the switch. SMS is also still coming in, as I quickly checked myself out of interest. So it makes sense to flip the switch here because 2G can be an unexpected target.
2G is the new fax
The mobile phone technology, which is around 30 years old, has seen its best years but is still used today for simple telephony. Therefore, with the introduction of 5G, there was initially only a shutdown of 3G, which was primarily used for mobile Internet and is also outdated.
Interesting at this point: 2G will not remain in place everywhere. In Switzerland, the network operators are also pulling the plug for 2G. But Germany has also stuck to the fax for a long time, what do we expect there?
A security hole from the factory
2G is probably largely unsecured and therefore of course also a possible gateway for attackers.
EFF writes: Although many of the vulnerabilities in 2G have been fixed in 4G, more advanced cellular simulators can downgrade your connection to 2G, leaving your phone vulnerable to […] attacks. This leaves every user vulnerable – from journalists and activists to medical professionals, government officials and even law enforcement.
If you no longer use 2G in everyday life because you always have 4G reception and therefore also VoLTE or WLAN calls at home, the 2G switch-off could be interesting for you. Switch called “Allow 2G” on a recent Google Pixel phone: