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3G is Phasing Out--What Does That Mean for You?

Jose Guzman | Writer

With 5G networks becoming the new standard, 3G is beginning to get phased out all over the country. Even if you don’t own a 3G phone, there’s still a good chance you might be affected.

Back in January 2022, 3G networks started to shut down, with most networks gone before the end of the year.

3G became the standard all the way back in 2001. At the time, it was revolutionary, being faster and more secure than its older brother, 2G. In 2010, 4G was introduced, becoming the new standard. Now with 5G coming out, companies need space for new technology. According to commsbrief, 5G is around 170 times faster than 3G, letting you download an entire movie in seconds. Most carriers plan on removing their 3G networks by the end of this year.

“But I haven’t used a 3G phone in years,” you might think.

If you have a 3G phone when the networks shut off, you won’t be able to make any calls, including 911. Many devices apart from phones still need 3G to function, like medical equipment, home security systems, and vehicle SOS and navigation services. According to the AARP, in 2019, more than 45 million Americans still used a device that relies on 3G. In addition, 10% of Americans still use 3G devices today.

What should you do about it?

The first step is to make sure that your hardware is up to date. If your device came out at any time after 2014, then you should be more than fine. Many carriers have offers to upgrade to 4G devices for free or at a discount. Unfortunately, these are the growing pains we must go through to step into the future. It’ll be here sooner than you think.


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