Will Your Cell Phone Still Be Able to Call 911 in 2022?
Plan now for the phase out of 3G cellular networks and service.
If you are currently using an older cellular device, you may need to upgrade before your provider shuts down the 3G network in 2022. This will affect being able to text and make calls including 911. This will also affect many businesses and residences that rely on cellular devices to make notifications to their alarm companies in the event of a power failure or as the primary notification path. The larger alarm companies should notify the customer, but many are on-time purchases with a monthly fee, and they are not as likely to notify the customer. This also has an impact on public safety. The best way to find out if your device needs to be upgraded, is by contacting your mobile service provider directly.
As mobile service providers begin to phase out the older technology of 2G and 3G networks, it will make room for more advanced network services. Once your mobile service provider completes phasing out the 3G network, older devices that were not made to connect to 4G and 5G networks, will no longer work. This phase out will also affect any devices that use 3G service such as medical devices, tablets, smart watches and even home security systems.
The phasing out of 3G will start as early as January 1, 2022 but will vary depending on the company and these dates are subject to change. The Department of Emergency services highly recommend that you contact your provider directly, but the major mobile service providers have announced dates.
- AT&T: Plans to finish shutting down 3G by February 22, 2022
- Verizon: Plans to finish shutting down 3G by December 31, 2022
- T-Mobile: Plans to finish shutting down Sprint 3G by January 1, 2022 and Sprints LTE network by June 30, 2022. The T-Mobile 2G and 3G networks do not have a specific date yet.
If you do not see your provider listed, you could still be affected. Many popular carriers such as Cricket, Boost, Straight Talk, and several Lifeline mobile services use one of the major providers. (AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile)
Many providers have been contacting their customers and offering programs to replace older devices that will be affected.
To learn more about the phase out of the 3G network you can visit www.fcc.gov and search 3G. To find out if you need to upgrade your device and what programs are offered you need to contact your mobile provider directly.