What the end of 3G means for your old phones

If you’ve been dragging your feet on replacing your old cell phones, you may want to start looking for a new device now.

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The FCC said that as early as Jan. 1, some carriers will be turning off their 3G service.

AT&T will finish turning off 3G by February.

Verizon users will have until Dec. 31, 2022.

T-Mobile will finish doing away with Sprint’s 3G CDMA network by March 31 and Sprint’s 4G LTE by June 30. The T-Mobile 3G UMTS network will be turned off by July 1. There is no date for the shutdown of its 2G network.

If you are not a subscriber of these three networks, your phone may still be impacted as companies like Cricket, Boost and Straight Talk use the main telecommunication companies’ networks for their service, the FCC warned.

Not only will phones be impacted — so will some medical devices, tablets, smartwatches, vehicle SOS services, home security systems and other connected devices that use the 3G system.

AT&T said all iPhones prior to the iPhone 6 and some Galaxy models will no longer function. Even some devices that use 4G will not function if they don’t support HD Voice, USA Today reported.

Verizon said iPhone 5, 5C, 5S and older phones, Samsung Galaxy S4 and older and Apple iPad 2 will not work after the deadline, Clark Howard reported.

If your carrier can’t provide the information, you can check with the device manufacturer to see if an update or an upgrade is needed, according to USA Today.

If you cannot afford a new device, the FCC has its Lifeline program, which gives qualifying consumers a discount on phone service.

There is also the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, which offers a temporary discount on broadband connectivity.

Click the following links to see if your service and device will be impacted.

AT&T

Verizon

T-Mobile

Cricket

Straight Talk

TracFone