Are you still using a 3G phone? Really? If you are, did you know it's going to cease working this year? It's true. 5G Networks are quickly taking over the planet, 4G LTE is still very prevalent in the marketplace as you and I slowly upgrade to new phones with 5G capabilities. Fact is, if you have purchased a new phone in the last few years it most likely runs on at least 4G LTE networks and should continue to do so for quite some time. However, if you're still using that old 3G-based flip phone that you bought in 2010, at some point this year, it's no longer going to have a network to call on. Then there's your car, maybe your home or business security system, there are a lot of systems that worked on 3G networks, they will all stop working this year.
When You Ask?
AT&T is looking at February to shut off their 3G, T-Mobile is next in July and Verizon has their sights set on the end of the year.
On A Personal Note
My Truck should be ok, I think, although I just remembered that my in-vehicle WiFi runs on 3G, not a big problem though, I never used it. We do, however, have an older car that might be more affected by this. Our home security system works off of older cellular technology, so, guess what I have to do later this year, upgrade.
What a pain... a bit of a financial burden too.
Impacts Worth Thinking About
Speaking of vehicles, Rob Stumpf of TheDrive.com, has a great article that gets very detailed about things that may not work in your car:
The truth is a large number of new cars made in the last decade, even some in the 2021 model year, were built with their connected services running on 3G. That includes things like in-nav traffic and location data, WiFi hotspots, emergency call services, remote lock/unlock functions, smartphone app connectivity, voice assistants, and even concierge services.
You gearheads need to check out his whole article at the link above.
Phillip Michaels from TomsGuide.com has a terrific article as well about the effects 3G network shutdowns are going to have. AT&T is quoted here from that article:
2.7% of its customers would be impacted by the 3G shutdown. With more than 195 million customers at the end of September, that would translate to around 5 million people.
5 million people will be impacted from just one company, that's a lot of devices.
Progress is never painless, we can't help what the big networks are going to do, it's their network, their money that built them, and their money that is expanding those network capabilities and bandwidths. We're just kinda along for the ride. Are we footing the bill? Yes we are! But most of us are ok with doing upgrades. I'm usually about a year or so behind the "latest and greatest". I like the new gadgets, but they're always so expensive when they first come out.
Resist No More
So, for those that have resisted for years upgrading that phone, tablet or reader, better start your planning. Older cars with built-in satellite navigation, older tablets or iPads, home or business alarm systems, even some medical devices use the 3G networks as well. We could be looking at millions and millions of devices that simply no longer work after 3G gets shut down.
Are you prepared? Time is ticking away.