Is your device affected? AT&T is phasing out 3G – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Starting Tuesday, AT&T is officially phasing out its primitive 3G service to make way for 5G and 6G.

It is the first operator to do so, as businesses move to faster service networks.

It’s important to double-check, but if you bought your smartphone or tablet in the last decade or less, it should have at least 4G capability and won’t be affected.

Click here for a list of AT&T phones and other devices that will be affected.

However, it’s not just older phones that are affected.

There are concerns that some important 3G-based devices still need to be upgraded and could cause major disruptions to crucial services if turned off.

There are many devices that many may not realize still rely on the old network, including:

Many of these devices communicate with 24-hour surveillance systems still using 3G.

“The United States is going to be disrupted, lives will be at risk,” John Brady, chief operating officer of emergency response company Connect America, told NBC Washington. “You’ll be amazed how many people don’t even realize their devices are on a 3G platform. They think they automatically change when the technology changes.”

The announcement of the closure of the old network was made in 2019, giving companies 3 years notice.

Companies planned to start upgrading devices, but the pandemic put an end to that effort. A shortage of computer chips and an ongoing supply chain crisis have exacerbated the situation. The companies said all of these factors have led to major upgrades in millions of devices.

Many industries have expressed concern that more time is needed for the transition.

The Federal Communications Commission isn’t extending the deadline, but the agency said it got AT&T to agree to new roaming options to be added as a bridge for sure after 3G shutdown .

AT&T said it worked with business customers to make the transition and that less than 1% of its data traffic is currently running on 3G.

As for other companies, Verizon said its 3G shutdown will occur no later than December 31 this year. T-Mobile and Sprint plan to shut down 3G between March and July.

Bottom line: If you have concerns about one of your devices, call the company that manages that device to make sure you’re upgraded or get a replacement.

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