What you need to know about the upcoming 3G shutdown

Jan 1, 2022, 6:30 AM
(Pixabay Photo)...
(Pixabay Photo)
(Pixabay Photo)

Q: Should I be concerned with the upcoming shutdown of the 3G networks?

A: It’s hard to remember what a game changer 3G was when it first rolled out in the early 2000s, but it made things like music and video streaming a usable service.

For a point of reference, the first iPhone in 2007 wasn’t even cable of using the new 3G technology.

Today, whenever we are forced to use a 3G connection, it seems like nothing is happening compared to what we are used to with 4G and 5G.

All of the major carriers plan on shutting down their 3G networks in 2022, starting with AT&T in February, T-Mobile on its various networks throughout the summer and Verizon at the end of the year.

If any of your devices will only connect through 3G, they may essentially become nearly useless when the shutdown occurs on your carrier’s network.

3G-only devices are rare

Unless you’re still using a flip phone or smartphone that’s really old, you’re most likely using 4G or 5G almost exclusively right now.

Your phone should be displaying how it’s connecting in the upper right corner of the display with things like LTE, 4G or 5G.

That means you’d have to be using something older than an iPhone 6 or a Samsung Galaxy S4 or older Android device in order to be impacted. If you only ever see 3G as your connection method, you may have to upgrade the device.

AT&T has posted a list of devices that they say will work after they shut down their 3G network in February.

All of the carriers have stated that they will be alerting customers directly that they know have devices that will stop functioning on their networks.

Not just phones

There are devices other than phones that could potentially be impacted such as older e-readers like the Kindle or early generation iPads that have the ability to connect to a cellular network.

Tablets and e-readers that are impacted will still be able to connect via Wi-Fi as will older smartphones, so they won’t be completely useless.

Some older security systems or specialized industrial devices may also be impacted if they can only send information via a 3G connection.

Rural users

This shutdown is predicted to disproportionately impact low-income and rural users that are either using really old devices or don’t have access to anything other than a 3G signal.

Although various carriers have been upgrading their networks in anticipation of this shutdown, it’s possible that some rural users could still end up with no service when things shut down in their area.

The FCC published an interactive map showing 4G coverage by all of the major networks that rural users can use to determine which carriers will still provide coverage when 3G shuts down.

The data on the FCC map was as of May 15, 2021, while other resources that rely on user-reported data such as Root Metrics Coverage Maps may also be a useful evaluation tool for rural users.

Data Doctors

Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are some tips on how to speed up slow starting computers

Here are some ways you can identify and solve potential issues that may be causing your computer to start up slower than normal.
5 days ago
(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)...
Data Doctors

An explanation of how new credit cards have information stolen

If you've ever wondered how people can crack a new credit card, here's a rundown and a brief explanation on what thieves could be doing.
12 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are the differences between Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge

Half of the United States uses Google Chrome as a default browser, but here are the key differences between Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
19 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Tips on how and when to use the iPhone screen recording feature

Here are some tips on when and how to use the the screen recording feature located on the dropdown bar on your iPhone.
26 days ago
In this photo illustration a spam 'Phishing' email is displayed on a laptop screen on March 21,2022...
Data Doctors

Tips and tools to detect and avoid computer phishing scams

Far and away, the method of choice for compromising users is through sophisticated phishing messages in email, via text messaging and through social media accounts.
1 month ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Tips for helping the elderly spot and avoid phishing emails

Here are things you should look out for and avoid if you are helping someone detect phishing emails on their mobile devices.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
What you need to know about the upcoming 3G shutdown