Telecoms Plan “Staggered Shutdown” of 3G Networks and Devices Despite Opposition and Warnings

By B.N. Frank

American aviation experts have been warning for years that 5G frequencies could cause catastrophic interference issues with aviation instruments (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).  Nevertheless, proponents (including the Federal Communications Commission) ignored those warnings until recently when AT&T and Verizon agreed to delay additional 5G deployment until January.  According to the aviation industry, that’s not enough time.  Of course, American opposition to 5G includes MORE than aviation safety risks.  Reports have also shown that 4G service is still better and more secure than 5G (see 1, 2, 3, 4).  Nevertheless, proponents continue to promote 5G deployment and the Infrastructure Bill was written so that it will primarily be funded by federal dollars (see 1, 2, 3, 4).

Quickly phasing out 3G networks has always been part of the plan also despite additional expert opposition and warnings (see 1, 2).

From Gov Tech:

When Will 3G Networks, Devices Become Unusable Next Year?

As companies need to free up transmission frequencies for 5G networks, their 3G networks will be shut down. Major 3G networks will be phased out at different points in 2022 depending on the service provider.

November 18, 2021 •

(TNS) — If you’ve had your mobile phone for more than five years, you may need to upgrade or replace it soon, with older 3G network technology set to be replaced by a speedier technology starting next year.

The 3G network, or third-generation mobile network, launched in 2001 and brought fast internet access to cellphones, creating a boom in consumers owning phones for streaming music, playing games and all sorts of uses other than talking. Some 20 years later, that technology has been slowly replaced by the newer 5G networks with much faster download speeds for new applications like telemedicine and artificial intelligence. They also can support many more users simultaneously without slowing the network.

That’s good news for consumers who want to stream movies and music faster, but it’s bad news for those with older phones that won’t be usable anymore. The shutdown, which will be staggered throughout next year depending on the service provider, will affect other electronic devices using 3G networks such as medical alert devices, smart watches, vehicle SOS services, home security systems, tablets and devices that use cellular connectivity as a backup when a wired connection goes down.

Here’s what you need to know to prepare for the change.


Mobile service carriers upgrade to the latest technologies and occasionally shut down older services like 3G to free up transmission frequencies and build the infrastructure to support new services like 5G, according to the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates wireless carriers and has a “plan ahead” primer on its website.


The switch will start on Jan. 1, 2022, although the completion of the complete phase out of 3G services varies by company and could change.

AT&T plans to shut down its 3G service by February 2022. Details about its plans, including which phone models are affected and how to upgrade, are on its website.

Verizon plans to shut its network by Dec. 31, 2022, and has published a list of affected models and services on its website. A company executive estimated that fewer than 1 percent of its customers nationwide still access its 3G network. Some of the phone models its website lists as being 3G are the Samsung Galaxy S4 or earlier and the Apple iPhone 5 series or older.

T-Mobile, which runs the Sprint and T-Mobile networks, said it will finish shutting down the Sprint 3G network by March 31, 2022 and the Sprint LTE network by June 30, 2022. It also plans to stop the shut T-Mobile 3G network by July 1, 2022. It has not yet announced a shutdown date for its 2G network, although competitors AT&T and Verizon no longer support 2G. More details are on its website.

The FCC said the dates could change, so customers should check with their mobile service provider to keep track of the sunset date for the network and to find out if their phone is affected.

It is unclear how many Mainers still use 3G service, but GSMA Intelligence said only 4 percent of wireless connections in 2020 were over 3G networks.


Planning now is important as losing 3G connectivity also means older cellphones won’t be able to make or receive calls or texts, including 911 calls.

Find out whether your mobile device, whether it is a phone, medical device or other critical service, will be affected. That can be done by contacting your mobile provider or checking its website.

Some devices may only need a software update, for example, to enable a feature called HD Voice, or Voice over LTE, which is necessary on the 5G network. You can check your phone’s cellular data settings to see whether you have Voice over LTE.

Consumers should call their service provider for medical alert devices, home security systems and other services to make sure they will still operate.

Those who decide to not get a new phone should talk to their carrier about canceling their plan and ask to do so without a penalty. Otherwise, they may continue getting billed.

A resale market for older phones is unlikely, so consumers should take them for recycling at a phone store or repurpose them as an alarm clock, gaming machine or other use.


Replacing a device that cannot access the faster 5G network can be expensive, but there is help. The FCC’s Lifeline program provides a discount on phone service to eligible consumers. The FCC emergency broadband benefit provides a temporary discount of up to $50 per month for broadband service to eligible households during the COVID-19 pandemic. Broadband could be used for audio and video calls over the internet if a person no longer wants a mobile phone. Carriers also may offer discounts, rebates or free upgrades on phones.

©2021 Bangor Daily News, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

In addition to aviation safety risks, other significant issues have been identified with 5G technology including

The FCC has catered to the telecom and cable industries for decades (see 1, 2, 3).  This has led to numerous lawsuits filed against the agency for NOT protecting the public from unsafe levels of cell phone and WiFi radiation, 5G on Earth (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and in space, and also for allowing telecom and cable companies to overcharge Americans.  A 2020 lawsuit against the FCC determined that Americans have already paid to have access to safer and more secure high speed internet access via fiber optics to the premises and copper landlines (see 1, 2).  In August 2021, a federal court ruled in favor of petitioners who sued the FCC for not protecting Americans from harmful radiation exposure (see 1, 2).  More recently, an alliance in New Mexico petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take a stance on inadequate telecom legislation passed in 1996.

Nevertheless, taxpayer money continues to be given to telecom and cable companies to “bridge the digital divide” with less secure (see 1, 2) and biologically harmful 5G and WiFi (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

Earlier this year, scientists submitted a letter to President Biden asking him to protect the public from 5G and other unsafe technology.  Instead he committed to adding more.  Americans opposed to any or all of this may sign and share the following online petitions 1, 2, 3.

Since 2017 doctors and scientists have been asking for 5G moratoriums on Earth and in space (see 1, 2).  Since 2018 there have been reports of people and animals experiencing symptoms and illnesses after 5G was activated (see 1. 2, 3, 4).  Of course, there are health and environmental risks associated with 4G and other sources of wireless radiation too (see 1, 2, 3).  However, citizens AND entire countries have taken action to ban, delay, halt, and limit installation AS WELL AS issue moratoriums due to specific risks associated with 5G technology.  The majority of scientists also oppose deployment.

Activist Post reports regularly about 5G and other unsafe technology.  For more information visit our archives and the following websites.

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