Wireless carriers to discontinue 3G networks by 2022

Posted at 1:42 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 13:42:42-04

(WXYZ) — According to the Van Buren Township Dispatch and the Public Safety Department, many wireless carriers will discontinue 3G wireless connections in 2022.

Older style 3G models of Tracfones, flip phones, Jitterbugs, etc. will be discontinued as early as January 2022.

According to Van Buren Township police, those 3G devices will not only be disabled from normal use but will also be unable to call or dial 9-1-1.

“Mobile carriers are shutting down their 3G networks, which rely on older technology, to make room for more advanced network services, including 5G," the Federal Communications Commission said on its website. "As a result, many older cell phones will be unable to make or receive calls and texts, including calls to 9-1-1, 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).”

This wireless network shut down could also impact other devices, like tablets, smartwatches, vehicle SOS services, medical devices, home security systems, and other connected products that are using 3G networks.

The FCC has asked everyone to plan ahead for the phase-out.

If your device is not labeled, contact the monitoring company or other service provider to confirm how the device connects and whether your device may be impacted.

“We’re asking that everyone checks their device and checks on the devices of their loved ones to make sure everyone remains connected to each other,” Public Safety Director Greg Laurain said. “We want to make sure you and your loved ones will always be able to reach 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.”