3G to become a thing of the past

HOLT, Fla., Dec. 21, 2021—Cell phones still operating on older 3G networks will lose service as early as Dec. 31 as companies phase out older networks to make room for more advanced network services.

Those people with older cell phones operating on 3G networks will need to upgrade their phones to avoid losing service, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

As a result of the change, many older cell phones will be unable to make or receive calls and texts, including calls to 911, or use data services.

This will affect 3G mobile phones and certain older 4G mobile phones that do not support Voice over LTE (VoLTE or HD Voice).

These changes begin as early as Jan. 1, 2022, although plans and timing to phase out 3G services will vary by company.

Current shutdown schedule:

            – Sprint’s CDMA network – March 31, 2022
            – Sprint’s 4G LTE network – June 30, 2022
     – T-Mobile’s 3G UMTS network – July 1, 2022
            – T-Mobile’s 2G network – not yet announced

Other devices, such as certain medical devices, tablets, smart watches, vehicle SOS services, home security systems and other connected products using 3G network services will also be affected, including those using cellular connectivity as a back-up when a wired internet connection goes down.

If a device is not labeled, users should contact the monitoring company or service provider to confirm how the device connects and whether the device may be impacted.

Customers should consult their carrier service provider’s website for more information prior to the scheduled shutdown date to avoid losing service.

FCC news release

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