“We’re talking iPhone 5 and below or iPad 2 and below, I mean these are already devices that are close to ten years old as it is, but some people still use those older iPhone’s, some people use older Android phones that only have 3G antennas in them and there is no way to upgrade that, you can’t put a new antenna in it, you just have to get a new device,” said Andrew Brandt, owner, Phone Medic. This shutdown is not just limited to phones as there are other devices that run on 3G.
Unless you would not want to lose service, you’ll have to upgrade some of your devices shortly. According to the FCC, mobile operators are shutting down their 3G networks that rely on older technology to make room for more contemporary network services like 5G. AT&T will have completed the shutdown of its 3G network by February 2022. Sprint’s 3G CDMA network will be decommissioned by March 31, 2022, Sprint’s 4G LTE network by June 30, 2022, and T-3G Mobile’s UMTS network by July 1, 2022, however no date has been established for the decommissioning of its 2G network. Verizon will have completed the deactivation of its 3G network by December 31, 2022. When these networks fall down, phones that use 3G connectivity will stop working. Many companies, including Apple, have yet to create a 3G smartphone, according to Amarillo’s Phone Medic.
“We’re not only talking about cell phones, older cell phones, we’re also talking Amazon Kindle devices, you know if you use an e-reader that has 3G connectivity that will no longer work, we’re talking about vehicles, not even old vehicles, 2017, 2018 Corollas that use 3G connectivity for their OnStar or their maps programs will no longer work,” said Brandt. Security systems are another device being impacted. “In the security industry, we have several systems from alarm systems, camera systems, fire alarm systems they all work on 3G platforms and 4G LTE based platforms,” said Paul McInally, business development, Allstate Security Industries, Inc.
McInally says they were informed back in 2019, this change was coming, so they have been preparing since then making sure customers are ready and are switching over. They say their customers are not the only ones being impacted, but many other security vendors both in Amarillo and nationwide are also having to update their systems. Experts encourage you to check all of your devices and be aware of what may no longer work once these networks shut down.