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End of an era: United States bids farewell to 3G technology

IFM_United States 3G
People in the United States will need to check their phone model in order to precisely determine if their phones will work after the switch off or not

With Verizon shutting down its old telecommunication network, 3G mobile services in the United States will no longer be available.

AT&T turned off its 3G service in February 2022 and T-Mobile started shutting down old networks around the same time frame as well.

AT&T has also published a detailed list of phones and digital devices that will still work after their 3G switch off, as well as devices that may require a software update to enable HD voice, Wi-Fi Calling, Video Calls, Advanced Messaging, or 5G services. It says that its customers in the United States will need to check their phone model in order to precisely determine if their phones will work after the switch off or not.

AT&T users can also sign in to their accounts to see if their phones are affected. Verizon has sent its customers new, LTE-capable phones, as well as letters explaining the road ahead after the 3G services shut down.

Verizon has told customers with 3G phones that their “lines will be suspended starting the day before their December billing cycle begins.”

After the deadline, they can use those devices only for calling 911 and Verizon customer service.

T-Mobile’s 3G CDMA network that originated with Sprint was retired on March 31, 2022, while the 3G UMTS network that originated with T-Mobile itself was retired as of July 1, 2022. The LTE network that originated with Sprint was retired as of June 30, 2022.

The telecommunication service provider also plans to retire their 2G network.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), mobile carriers “periodically shut down older services, such as 3G, to free up spectrum and infrastructure to support new services, such as 5G.”

“Mobile carriers have the flexibility to choose the types of technologies and services they deploy, including when they decommission older services in favor of newer services to meet consumer demands,” said the regulatory authority.

“Other devices, such as certain medical devices, tablets, smartwatches, vehicle SOS services, home security systems, and other connected products may be using 3G network services. And don’t forget about devices that use cellular connectivity as a backup when a wired internet connection goes down,” it said further.

General Motors subsidiary OnStar has said that the 3G switch-off will affect certain GM vehicles in the 2015 model year or later. The company is also issuing over-the-air updates to cars affected.

According to Fierce Wireless, telecom carrier Orange plans to phase out its 2G and 3G networks in Europe by 2030.

In France, 2G will be decommissioned first by 2025 end, followed by a 3G closure by 2029.

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