ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- 5G is here and wireless phone companies are slowly getting rid of 3G networks in 2022. Any 3G device, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch, will not be able to connect to 5G networks, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Wireless customers with 3G phones have probably received a message from their carrier saying they have to upgrade their phone. AT&T shut down its 3G network in February. That means, its customers would already know if their phone wasn’t compatible with the new network.
Because T-Mobile merged with Sprint in April 2020, Sprint’s 3G CDMA network will also shut down at the end of March. Followed by Sprint’s LTE network on June 30 and T-Mobile’s older 3G UMTS network by July 1, according to T-Mobile’s website.
Below are the dates when carriers will be shutting off 3G networks, according to the FCC:
- AT&T-February 2022
- Verizon-December 31, 2022
- T-Mobile-Sprint’s 3G CDMA network by March 31, 2022; Sprint’s 4G LTE network by June 30, 2022; T-Mobile’s 3G UMTS network by July 1, 2022
Cricket, Boost, and Straight Talk use AT&T, T-Mobile’s, or Verizon’s networks. Cricket and Boost Mobile both said they would no longer have 3G available as of February. Straight Talk’s website did not say when 3G would no longer be available for its customers but did say customers with 3G phones experiencing a poor connection or dropped calls would see those problems continually get worse until their phone stopped working entirely.
People who are unsure if their phone will be compatible with 5G networks should contact their carrier. Phones should also say whether they are connected to 3G, 4G, or 5G on their status bar. If the status bar doesn’t say which network a phone is connected to, customers can turn off their service and reconnect it which should show the network.