Mobile operators have announced they will completely shut down support for the 20-year-old wireless network standard aka 3G by 2022. As a result of this change, many older phones that rely on the 3G technology will no longer be able to access the internet. Though their mobile data connections may be dead, the Wi-Fi radios will still function normally. Different mobile service providers will experience the end of the 3G era at different periods. In December of 2022, Verizon will turn off service.
4G LTE and 5G networks are expanding, so carriers are discontinuing 3G service to make room for the newer infrastructure elements needed to power these networks.
Since 4G LTE has taken the lead, carriers had planned to phase out 3G service, but Covid-19 made them put those plans on hold.
Telecommunications companies haven’t turned off 3G yet because services that depend on it, like home security systems and technology for the elderly, have become more crucial in the past two years.
Effects of 3G shutdown
All iPhones before the iPhone 6 and several Galaxy models are on AT&T’s exhaustive list of phones that will be unsupported during the outage.
According to FCC, 3G phone owners won’t be able to make calls when 3G completely goes away. In addition, it affects 4G phones that can’t use HD Voice.
Impact of 3G shutdown
The end of 3G networks has an influence on more than just cellphones. It can affect the functionality of 3G-enabled devices;
- e-readers like the Kindle
- portable Internet hotspots
- kid safety gadgets
- alarm systems
- home security systems
- medical alert devices
- automotive SOS services
- personal alarm devices
- alcohol monitoring devices, and a variety of other Internet-of-things gadgets.
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