According to the FCC, mobile providers are shutting down 3G networks that older technology relies on in order to expand more advanced network services such as 5G. What does this mean?
AT&T customers that have older devices should check their devices to avoid potentially losing service. When the shutdown happens, 3G phones and some older 4G devices will not be able to make or receive calls and texts. This includes any 911 calls or any services that use data. The shutdowns vary by company and AT&T has announced the service will be shut down on February 22. AT&T has released a device compatibility list which can be found here.
T-Mobile announced Sprint’s 3G CDMA network will be shut down by March 31 and Sprint’s 4G LTE network by June 30. They also announced T-Mobile’s 3G UNTS network will be shut down by July 1. An announcement about the shutdown date for its 2G network has not been made yet. Verizon announced it will finish the shutdown of its 3G network by December 31.
The shutdowns won’t only affect mobile phones. Devices such as medical devices, tablets, smart watches, vehicle SOS services, home security systems, and other connected devices could be affected. What if you have a device that is affected? Some devices may only require a software update, however, you may need to upgrade to a newer device to stay connected. To be sure, check your provider’s website or contact them for any questions.