3G networks will begin shutting down in 2022
Jan. 1 will mark the beginning of the nationwide 3G network shutdown, starting with Sprint’s 3G CDMA network.
With the rise of speedier technology, such as 4G and 5G networks, older devices that operate on 3G networks won’t be able to receive calls or texts anymore.
As far as emergency services go, that means a person with a 3G device could not place a call to 911 once those networks are shut down.
Some of the phone models that operate on 3G are the Samsung Galaxy S4 or earlier and the Apple iPhone 5 series or older.
The shutdown will also affect devices using 3G networks like medical alert devices, vehicle SOS services, home security systems and other devices that use the 3G cellular service as a backup when a wired connection is not available.
The 3G networks are being eliminated so mobile service carriers can free up transmission frequencies and build the infrastructure to support new services like 5G, according to the Federal Communications Commission.
The shutdown will be staggered throughout 2021 depending on the service provider.
♦ AT&T will finish shutting down its 3G network by February 2022
♦ Verizon will finish shutting down its 3G network by Dec. 31, 2022
♦ T-Mobile will finish shutting down
Sprint’s 3G network by Jan. 1, 2022, and Sprint’s LTE network by June 30, 2022.
The dates could change, according to the FCC, so customers should remain in contact with their mobile service provider or their medical alert and home security system providers to keep track of the “sunset date” for their network and make sure their phone still has service.
For more information, you can visit the FCC’s website and look under “Consumer Guides.”