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3G networks will not work for phones in the near future

Photos: Apple's iPhone through the years
Posted at 9:18 PM, Jan 19, 2022

COLLIER COUNTY, Fl. — According to the Federal Communications Commission, devices using 3G networks, will gradually become unusable throughout the year. This change will also affect medical alert devices, tablets, smartwatches and home security systems limited to 3G networks.

The practice of shutting down older networks for new technology is routine; the FCC says many 2G networks were shut down to make way for 4G networks.

By February 2022, AT&T will finish shutting down their 3G network. By December 31, 2022, Verizon will finish shutting down its 3G network. T-Mobile will finish shutting down Sprint’s 3G CDMA network by March 31, 2022 and Sprint’s 4G LTE network by June 30, 2022.

Even if someone is using a different carrier, such as Cricket, Boost, Straight Talk and several Lifeline mobile service providers, their 3G device may still stop working. According to the FCC, users should utilize AT&T’s, Verizon’s and T-Mobile’s networks.

If you are unsure whether your older model phone is 3G or not, contact your service provider.

Low income individuals who are concerned that their 9-1-1 only phones may no longer be supported should consider applying for service through the federal Lifeline Program. Information regarding eligibility and participating providers can be found at https://www.lifelinesupport.org/.