Why Preppers Should Buy A 2G Phone
Ensuring you can stay in communication with others is an important part of survival. However, preppers will be aware of how this could lead to dangers as well. With this in mind, it would be advisable to look at buying a 2G phone, also known as a dumbphone, to use instead of the more recent and popular 5G phones.
This article will explore the benefits of buying a 2G phone in a survival setting, what the limitations of using it are, and what UK networks continue to provide a 2G service.
Benefits Of Using 2G Phones
In a chaotic smartphone dominated world, there are several benefits to using a dumbphone 2G phone, particularly in the eyes of preppers in a survival setting. These benefits include:
Battery life – no need to find a charging source everyday when you buy a 2G phone. Perhaps the most important feature is their ability to last many, many days without needing to be charged – and of course a lot longer if you only use it selectively.
Some, like the new Nokia 3310 can stay on standby for a whole month!
Durability – 2G phones do not have the same features as a smartphone and are typically made of more robust and sturdy materials.
This means that they are much more likely to last in a survival setting as they can handle a bit more usage and being thrown into a bag without the worry of cracking an expensive glass screen.
Harder to hack – 2G phones do not have trackers like you would expect to find in an iPhone, so they can’t send out any private information about your location.
In fact, they only contain basic information about your call history and text messages.
Private communication – due to being less likely to be tracked and hacked, because nobody will want to extract info from a dumbphone in the first place as it doesn’t store bank details or anything of importance, it means that any communication you do have is fairly private, through either a text message or phone call.
You won’t be able to post what you are doing on Instagram, and so the information you want to share is only going to the intended recipient, which in turn will help keep your location secure.
Stay off grid – due to the limited communication on them (through the lack of Internet) it is possible to stay completely off grid, whilst ensuring you can communicate with others in times of emergency.
This is important for a lot of preppers who want to ensure they are kept separate and safe from what is going on.
Price – you can buy a 2G phone very cheaply compared to the hundreds of pounds spent on a smartphone, and you can get a 2G handset and charger from around £20. You can top it up with just £10 of credit and it will last you a long time and still be good months down the line in case of emergency.
The best thing to do is buy two, and give one to the person you’re most likely going to need to communicate with, instructing them to turn it on should conventional 3G, 4G and 5G networks fail. For an extra secure line, set up call forwarding on the third device to your target phone so the signal is bounced.
One Limitation Of Using 2G Phones
Unfortunately, a significant limitation with using a 2G dumbphone is the fact that is due to be switched off by the UK government in 2033, but on the other hand that’s still a decade away.
In fact, some major networks such as EE have been working towards phrasing out 3G by 2023, and aiming to do the same with 2G shortly after. This is to create more space for the 4G and 5G networks that are dominating the mobile phone market in the UK and further afield.
This does mean that the 2G phones will continue to work for a long while yet. However, unless there are any significant changes within the government plans, they will not work forever.
The 2G network is still in place for a longer period than the 3G network as it is still being used to help communicate with smart meters and their energy levels across the United Kingdom.
Even though it will one day cease to be supported, choosing to buy a 2G phone is still a highly valuable asset in a survival setting. When the network no longer supports them then it will be important to find another way to ensure safe communication, but it makes sense to enjoy the benefits of them in the meantime for another decade at least should SHTF.
UK Networks Still Running On 2G Network
A lot of the bigger mobile networks across Britain still offer a 2G option. These include:
O2 – due to close the 2G network in 2033
Vodafone – due to close the 2G network in 2025
EE – due to close the 2G network in 2025
GiffGaff – as this network is built using O2, it is likely that they are also due to close the 2G network in 2033
Virgin Media – no indication as to when this will be turned off, but Virgin Media still has their 2G network
However, it is important to note that not all mobile phone networks continue to support mobile phones on the 2G network.
For example, Three, which used to be part of Orange until they changed to EE, is no longer able to offer access to the 2G network in response to this changeover. This means that the 2G Three network was only running up until 2013.
As you can see, the majority of the main mobile phone networks still have access to the 2G network. Although they vary in terms of how much longer these will be available, there are there to make use of in the meantime.
If you are looking to buy a 2G mobile phone at the moment in order to prepare for survival circumstances, then it may make sense to opt for one on either O2 or GiffGaff carriers since these appear to be planning on sticking around for the longest.
As preppers are very resourceful people, when the time comes to retire the 2G mobile dumbphone, then we will find a new way in which to communicate that continues to be safe and secure.
Although difficult to predict at the moment, but this could very well include communication through radio or satellite phones, which in themselves offer a number of pros and cons.
In short, it is clear that 2G mobile dumbphones provide a safe and reliable way to communicate for preppers in a survival situation. However, because the network will no longer exist in 10 years, it is not considered a long-term option. Despite this, as the main operators still offer 2G sims, it is worth using this option for the time being and changing communication method later.