The FCC announces plans to shut down 3G networks - what this means for you

WTAP News @ 10
Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 6:42 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The FCC announced that mobile providers are getting ready to shut down their 3G networks.

WTAP spoke to a local tech expert from iTech about what this means for you.

First, let’s start with the basics.

“The telecommunications company is eliminating 3G. The reason for this is because 5G is coming out and they’re wanting to replace the 3G infrastructure. They don’t have enough room to be able to fit all that into their infrastructure…,” iTech president Mike Williams explained.

3G won’t be the only system impacted. Some older 4G systems won’t work either. Many phones will no longer be able to send or receive calls and texts.

“You know, people think of their cellphones 3G, 4G, 5G but the issue there is that effects more than just your cellphone,” Williams said.

To be specific, the switch will impact any device that uses cellular data to communicate. This includes anything from the GPS in your car to your security system.

“..., that monitoring will not support making the calls to the fire department, making the calls to the calls to the police department - doing the things that a security system is doing for you because it’s being monitored. It will not work,” Williams explained.

3G phase out timelines will vary from company to company but Williams clarified that every carrier will at least start the shutdown process in 2022. Keep in mind, carriers may shut off pieces of their networks before shutting off the entire system.

“So number one is understand from your manufacturer what they’re using. Is it 3G, 4G, 5G? That’s the first thing,” Williams said.

Depending on what’s being used, you may have to upgrade or buy a new device altogether.

With the rate things are going, Williams thinks 3G will be obsolete in less than two years.

You can call iTech for any clarification or help at 304-485-2222.

To read the FCC’s announcement, click here.

Copyright 2021 WTAP. All rights reserved.