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Because that would be a bad idea.

Why? The phone is idle 90% of the day and thus doesn't need high-bandwidth data in my pocket. In foreground any app could request high-bandwidth data - or, why not, high-bandwidth data while the screen is on and low-bandwidth when the device is in sleep mode.

Because with higher speeds, it returns to idle faster.

2G is also far less power efficient per byte.

The most efficient phone using today's technology would be a category 10 or higher LTE modem /w no 2/3G modems at all. Radio is on for a very short time, then switches back off.

Things have increased in speed so much that if power usage scaled linearly with capacity, using LTE would drain your battery in less than a second. Since they did not scale linearly, you are better off going faster. See "race to idle".

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