You have likely seen the ads offering the latest 5G mobile services and devices. But what does that mean for 4G and 3G devices?
If your mobile device is more than a few years old, it may be one of the 43.7 million that are only able to use 3G service. If so, you may need to upgrade your device if your mobile provider plans to shut down its 3G network.
Providers are expected to maintain their 4G networks as they invest in 5G deployment, so your 4G devices should continue to work.
Plans and timing to phase out 3G services will vary by company. Contact your mobile provider directly for more information.
Current 3G shutdown dates as announced by big three cellular carriers are:
AT&T – February 2022
Verizon – December 2022
T-mobile/Sprint – January 2022
Upgrading to a newer device is usually all you will need to stay connected. Keep in mind that phones are not the only devices that rely on cellular connections. Tablets, home security systems, medical devices, and other connected products may be using 3G network services.
And don’t forget about devices that use cellular connectivity as a back-up when a wired internet connection goes down. If the device is not labeled, contact the monitoring company or other service provider to confirm how the device connects.
More Information About 5G
NOTE: This means that all active cellular phones after the phase-out will be 4G or better and will all support the 360-character WEA message protocol. The 90-character protocol will be obsolete.