Did You Know Mobile Carriers Are Shutting Down Their 3G Networks This Year?
Mobile carriers are shutting down their 3G networks, which rely on older technology, to make room for more advanced network services, including 5G. As a result, many older cell phones will be unable to make or receive calls and texts, including calls to 911, 211, 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).
Other devices, such as certain medical devices, tablets, smart watches, vehicle SOS services, home security systems, and other connected products may be using 3G network services. Reach out to your friends and family who may be relying on these devices for communication and emergency services.
When Are Carriers Shutting Down Their 3G Network?
AT&T: February 22, 2022
Sprint CDMA: March 31, 2022
Sprint 4G LTE: June 30, 2022
T-Mobile: July 1, 2022
Verizon: December 31, 2022
Many carriers, such as Cricket, Boost, Straight Talk, Mint Mobile, and several Lifeline mobile service providers, utilize AT&T’s, Verizon’s, and T-Mobile’s networks. Contact your mobile carrier today to find out when they will be shutting down their 3G network.
These are dates for completing the shutdowns. Carriers may begin retiring parts of their networks sooner. If you purchased your phone independent of a mobile provider, you should be able to check whether your device is 4G LTE (with VoLTE or HD Voice) enabled by checking your phone’s settings or user manual, or by searching your phone’s model number on the internet, to determine whether you need to purchase a new device or install a software update.
How To Check If Your Device is 3G
If you find that your phone or device is 3G, you will have to upgrade or update your device. Reach out to your mobile carrier or device provider, you may be eligible for special offers. The FCC’s Lifeline program may be able to assist eligible consumers in getting connected to phone and internet services. The program provides a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers. Find out more about the Lifeline Program below.
1. Go to your device settings and click General> About. Locate the IMEI number for your device.
2. Copy or write down your IMEI number.
3. Visit the website www.imei.info
4. Enter your IMEI number and press enter.
5. Scroll to the section titled “LTE”. If your device says LTE, 4G, or 5G, you do not need to upgrade your device unless you have Sprint. Sprint is shutting down its 4G LTE network this year.
6. If you’re still not sure if your device is 3G, contact your mobile carrier TODAY.
To find out if your home security systems, medical alert devices, vehicle GPS and crash detection service runs on 3G, please contact your service provider or car dealership.
Contact Provider Customer Service
FCC's Lifeline Program
The FCC’s Lifeline program may be able to assist eligible consumers in getting connected to phone and internet services. The program provides a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family and emergency services. You can learn more about the Lifeline Program and find out if you may be eligible by clicking below.
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