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Do you have an old cellphone? Read this, you may lose service


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Larry Miller admits he isn’t too techy.

He has a pc, however makes use of it as a phrase processor. He goes to the library usually to test e-mail or go on the web.

“I was dragged kicking and screaming into the computer age,” mentioned the 82-year-old retired author who lives in Springfield Township, Ohio.

His cellphone is a flip phone. He thinks he purchased it 10 years in the past, and he makes use of Tracfone to purchase buckets of minutes since he would not need an costly month-to-month invoice.

He solely has it for emergencies and to name his grownup son in West Virginia with pay as you go cell minutes as an alternative of hefty landline lengthy distance charges.

However now Miller and others nationwide who’ve outdated telephones on the nation’s 3G mobile community are going to have to purchase a brand new cellphone if they need service.

The nation’s main mobile phone carriers are sunsetting, or shutting down, their 3G networks, which have been first launched 20 years in the past and depend on older know-how, to make room for extra superior community providers, together with 5G, mentioned the Federal Communications Fee.

“As a result, many older cellphones will be unable to make or receive calls and texts, including calls to 911, or use data services. This will affect 3G mobile phones and certain older 4G mobile phones that do not support Voice over LTE (VoLTE or HD Voice),” the FCC mentioned.

This might additionally influence different devices, resembling medical devices, house safety methods, sensible watches, automobile SOS providers and different related merchandise could also be utilizing 3G community providers, the FCC mentioned.

The assorted cell firms might be retiring or sunsetting their 3G networks all through this yr. This is data on dates from the FCC. It is doable dates may change, nevertheless it’s good to know what’s developing so you’ll be able to put together, if wanted:

AT&T will end shutting down its 3G community by February (bit.ly/3qgPtUE).

Verizon will end shutting down its 3G community by Dec. 31 (vz.to/3fd3UTf).

T-Cellular will end shutting down Dash’s 3G CDMA community by March 31 (t-mo.co/3r2gFpc) , and Dash’s 4G LTE community by June 30. It additionally introduced it would shut down T-Cellular’s 3G UMTS community by July 1, however has not but introduced a shutdown date for its 2G community.

In case your cellular provider isn’t listed right here, you should still be affected. Many carriers, resembling Cricket, Increase, Straight Discuss and several other Lifeline cellular service suppliers, make the most of AT&T’s, Verizon’s and T-Cellular’s networks.

A know-how story by my USA As we speak colleague Brett Molina has extra element and may be discovered at tinyurl.com/2p9xj2dm.

When the 3G network goes away, folks will be unable to make use of their telephones over that cellular network, even for 911 calls. You could possibly use Wi-Fi.

However it’s not simply outdated flip telephones which might be nonetheless on 3G and might be affected; some older smartphones might be affected, too—together with an iPhone 5 or older mannequin in addition to a number of fashions of the Samsung Galaxy.

So what must you do? I included hyperlinks on this column by the sundown dates for the particular main carriers’ data. Or the entire carriers have lists of impacted telephones should you search the web for the identify of the provider and 3G sundown or 3G shutdown. Or name or take your cellphone to your supplier’s retailer. In some instances, some telephones may have a software program improve, however that would be the straightforward repair. Most older units on 3G will want a brand new cellphone.

Miller wasn’t certain whether or not his outdated cellphone was affected when he initially emailed me earlier than the vacations. He had learn an article alerting senior residents that their telephones might not work in 2022.

He took it to his native Walmart electronics counter, the place he normally buys the Tracfone pay as you go playing cards.

The Walmart worker “kind of pooh-poohed the whole thing,” Miller advised me. “He didn’t think it was a big deal. He said he was aware of the issue” and advised Miller he’d most likely want to purchase a brand new cellphone for 30 to 40 bucks.

When Miller and I met up with a Beacon Journal photographer, he confirmed me his cellphone. I confirmed Miller the place he may discover the mannequin quantity for the cellphone by opening the again battery case and taking the battery out. The mannequin quantity is underneath the battery.

However we did not even must lookup on the web whether or not his Tracfone was going to be affected by the 3G shutdown.

After I powered up the cellphone once more, a message popped up, warning that his energetic service was solely by way of July 18. His cellphone additionally mentioned 3G on the higher left of the display screen as soon as it totally powered up.

Miller says he has no alternative however to improve his cellphone, though it really works completely nice for him. He desires one other easy cellphone, however mentioned he has bother opening the flip phone, so he’ll search for one thing a little bit simpler—and low-cost.

“I will get one. I guess if I have to,” he mentioned.


Remember 3G? It’s going away as AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile shift to 5G. What to know about 3G shutdown


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Do you could have an outdated cellphone? Learn this, chances are you’ll lose service (2022, January 12)
retrieved 12 January 2022
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