Sunday, January 23, 2022

Do you have an old cellphone? Read this, you may lose service

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Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Larry Miller admits he is not too techy.

He has a pc, however makes use of it as a phrase processor. He goes to the library repeatedly to examine electronic mail or go on the web.

“I was dragged kicking and screaming into the computer age,” stated the 82-year-old retired author who lives in Springfield Township, Ohio.

His cellphone is a flip . He thinks he purchased it 10 years in the past, and he makes use of Tracfone to purchase buckets of minutes since he would not need an costly month-to-month invoice.

He solely has it for emergencies and to name his grownup son in West Virginia with pay as you go cell minutes as a substitute of hefty landline lengthy distance charges.

But now Miller and others nationwide who have old telephones on the nation’s 3G mobile community are going to have to purchase a brand new telephone if they need service.

The nation’s main cellular telephone carriers are sunsetting, or shutting down, their 3G networks, which have been first launched 20 years in the past and depend on older expertise, to make room for extra superior community providers, together with 5G, stated the Federal Communications Commission.

“As a result, many older cellphones will be unable to make or receive calls and texts, including calls to 911, or use data services. This will affect 3G mobile phones and certain older 4G mobile phones that do not support Voice over LTE (VoLTE or HD Voice),” the FCC stated.

This may additionally impression different devices, similar to , house safety methods, good watches, automobile SOS providers and different related merchandise may be utilizing 3G community providers, the FCC stated.

The varied cell corporations will likely be retiring or sunsetting their 3G networks all through this yr. Here’s data on dates from the FCC. It’s attainable dates may change, however it’s good to know what’s arising so you can put together, if wanted:

AT&T will end shutting down its 3G community by February (

Verizon will end shutting down its 3G community by Dec. 31 (

T-Mobile will end shutting down Sprint’s 3G CDMA community by March 31 ( , and Sprint’s 4G LTE community by June 30. It additionally introduced it’ll shut down T-Mobile’s 3G UMTS community by July 1, however has not but introduced a shutdown date for its 2G community.

If your cell service shouldn’t be listed right here, you may nonetheless be affected. Many carriers, similar to Cricket, Boost, Straight Talk and several other Lifeline cell service suppliers, make the most of AT&T’s, Verizon’s and T-Mobile’s networks.

A expertise story by my USA Today colleague Brett Molina has extra element and could be discovered at

When the 3G goes away, folks will be unable to make use of their telephones over that , even for 911 calls. You may be capable of use Wi-Fi.

But it is not simply old flip telephones which are nonetheless on 3G and will likely be affected; some older smartphones will likely be affected, too—together with an iPhone 5 or older mannequin in addition to a number of fashions of the Samsung Galaxy.

So what ought to you do? I included hyperlinks on this column by the sundown dates for the precise main carriers’ data. Or the entire carriers have lists of impacted telephones if you search the web for the title of the service and 3G sundown or 3G shutdown. Or name or take your telephone to your supplier’s retailer. In some circumstances, some telephones may want a software program improve, however that would be the simple repair. Most older gadgets on 3G will want a brand new telephone.

Miller wasn’t certain whether or not his old telephone was affected when he initially emailed me earlier than the vacations. He had learn an article alerting senior residents that their telephones may not work in 2022.

He took it to his native Walmart electronics counter, the place he often buys the Tracfone pay as you go playing cards.

The Walmart worker “kind of pooh-poohed the whole thing,” Miller instructed me. “He didn’t think it was a big deal. He said he was aware of the issue” and instructed Miller he’d in all probability want to purchase a brand new telephone for 30 to 40 bucks.

When Miller and I met up with a Beacon Journal photographer, he confirmed me his telephone. I confirmed Miller the place he may discover the mannequin quantity for the telephone by opening the again battery case and taking the battery out. The mannequin quantity is underneath the battery.

But we did not even have to search for on the web whether or not his Tracfone was going to be affected by the 3G shutdown.

When I powered up the telephone once more, a message popped up, warning that his lively service was solely by means of July 18. His telephone additionally stated 3G on the higher left of the display screen as soon as it absolutely powered up.

Miller says he has no alternative however to improve his telephone, though it really works completely high-quality for him. He desires one other easy telephone, however stated he has hassle opening the , so he’ll search for one thing somewhat simpler—and low-cost.

“I will get one. I guess if I have to,” he stated.

Remember 3G? It’s going away as AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile shift to 5G. What to learn about 3G shutdown

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Do you have an old cellphone? Read this, you may lose service (2022, January 12)
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