End of 3G service: AT&T will shut down its 3G network Feb. 22. How will it affect you?

AT&T is about to take the first step toward dismantling its 3G network.

The wireless carrier is shutting down its 3G network on Tuesday, which means that many older smartphones and a slew of other devices will be rendered useless.

In 2002, Verizon was the first company in the United States to launch a 3G network, at a time when the BlackBerry was the most popular smartphone and the iPhone was still five years away.

Consumers used their phones for basic tasks such as checking email, sending text messages, and, of course, making phone calls twenty years ago. But we can do so much more with smartphones: take photos, watch TV, play games, scroll through social media, and so on.


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AT&T’S 3G NETWORK AND CARS: AT&T’s 3G network will be turned off on Tuesday. Will it have an effect on your vehicle’s navigation system?

The new features necessitate new wireless networks, which is why AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are decommissioning 3G networks to make way for faster 5G networks.

Here’s what you need to know about the 3G shutdown and how it might affect you:

When will AT&T’s 3G network be decommissioned?
The AT&T network will go down on February 22nd.

Will 3G phones work with 5G?

If you have a 3G phone or one that doesn’t support HD Voice calls, you won’t be able to make or receive calls, send or receive texts, or use any services that require wireless data. And those devices aren’t capable of dialling 911.

What other devices will be impacted by the discontinuation of 3G service?

The impact of the 3G network’s demise extends beyond older phones. e-book readers, vehicle SOS services, home alarms, medical alert devices, and other devices are all supported by the wireless network.

When will T-Mobile discontinue 3G service? What 3G plans does Verizon have?

T-Mobile has announced that the older 3G network acquired in the Sprint deal will be phased out on March 31. By July 1, it will have shut down its own 3G network. Verizon has stated that its 3G network will be decommissioned by December 31, 2022.

What can I do to get ready for the end of 3G?

The Federal Communications Commission recommends that you contact your wireless carrier to see if your phone is affected. Details on which devices are affected are available from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. After 3G is phased out, some devices may only require a software update to keep working.

Check with the manufacturer of other devices to see if they require a software update or upgrade.

Another thing to think about is whether you have a backup phone in case of an emergency. You should consider replacing those phones because they won’t be able to dial 911 in an emergency.

What vehicles are affected by AT&T’s 3G network outage? T-Mobile and Verizon, what about them?
Although your phone may not support 3G, many automobiles do. Check to see if and when your car will be affected now that 3G is being phased out by wireless carriers. (See the full list here.)

Will the 3G shutdown affect Apple CarPlay or Android Auto?

No. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto users will be unaffected because they mirror the user’s phone, which typically uses carriers’ 4G, LTE, or 5G networks. However, it will be more important than ever to remember to take your phone with you when you leave the house in the morning. (Hasn’t anyone ever left theirs at home?) Older cars with an SD card-based navigation system will also be spared.

What exactly is 5G?

It’s the 5G mobile network, which will make our smartphones and other connected devices run more quickly. It means we can download, upload, and stream video as well as upload and download photos more quickly on our smartphones.

In a blog post explaining 5G, Qualcomm said, “5G is designed to do a variety of things that can transform our lives, including giving us faster download speeds, low latency, and more capacity and connectivity for billions of devices.”

Some current smartphones, such as Apple’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lines, and Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, already support 5G.

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