Cell phone providers are working to launch 5G networks, and in order to do so they’re disconnecting their 3G networks. This shift will cause issues for users who still rely on 3G for their devices as they will no longer work in 2022, not even to call 911.
What devices use 3G?
- Cell phones
- Smart watches
- Home security systems
- Vehicle SOS systems (e.g., OnStar)
- Life alert/fall alert systems
When will this happen?
Providers have been pushing back the dates that the 3G network will be disconnected. As of the publication of this post, the dates for providers are as follows:
What can I do to prepare?
- Check with your provider to see if your devices will be affected
- Download any software updates that your devices need prior to the shutoff
- Check to see if your phone can support 5G
- Check with your phone provider to see if they offer any promotions to help you buy a new phone if needed
- The FCC’s Lifeline program provides a discount on phone service for low-income users. Click here to view eligibility.
- The FCC’s Emergency Broadcast Benefit Program provides temporary discounts on broadband service for households during Covid. Click here to learn more.
- Lifeline is a federal program that lowers the monthly cost of phone and internet. Eligible customers will get up to $9.25 toward their bill.
- Assurance Wireless provides a free smartphone, along with free phone service each month to low-income residents in Michigan.
- Q Link Wireless provides free cell phones to those that qualify.
- TruConnect provides up to 14 GB of monthly data PLUS a free Android phone or Wi-Fi hotspot, if eligible.
- TAG Mobile is a government assisted free cell phone service that provides discounted cell phone services to eligible low-income families and individuals.