Mobile providers to shut down 3G network; what you need to know to stay connected

Mobile providers are trying to make room for more advanced network services, including 5G.
Mobile providers are trying to make room for more advanced network services, including 5G.(Latino Life via Canva)
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 11:08 AM CST
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(Gray News) - It may be time to upgrade your cell phone to potentially avoid losing service.

According to the FCC, mobile providers are shutting down their 3G networks that rely on older technology. They are trying to make room for more advanced network services, including 5G.

When this happens, 3G phones and certain older 4G mobile devices will be unable to make or receive calls and texts, including calls to 911 or use data services.

The FCC said the timing to phase out 3G services will vary by company and could change, so consult your provider for the most up-to-date information.

Here’s a look at the planned dates for completing the shutdowns, according to the FCC, though the process for each carrier could begin sooner:

  • AT&T announced that it will finish shutting down its 3G network by February 2022.
  • T-Mobile announced that it will finish shutting down Sprint’s 3G CDMA network by March 31, 2022, and Sprint’s 4G LTE network by June 30, 2022. It also announced it will shut down T-Mobile’s 3G UMTS network by July 1, 2022, but has not yet announced a shutdown date for its 2G network.
  • Verizon announced that will finish shutting down its 3G network by Dec. 31, 2022.

This will impact any device that uses the 3G network and is not limited to mobile phones.

This means certain medical devices, tablets, smart watches, vehicle SOS services, home security systems and other connected products could be affected.

Some devices may only require a software update, or you may need to upgrade to a newer device to ensure you can stay connected.

Check your mobile provider’s website to see if your device is affected.

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