3G Network is Being Retired in 2022

20 December 2021

Mobile wireless carriers are sunsetting 3G networks in order to be able to use that spectrum for more modern technology that more effectively employs the limited spectrum. This transition will allow the companies to support more customers and offer higher speeds with the same amount of spectrum. Some carriers have already begun this process.

While this network upgrade is important, it comes with a price: the transition will also require the use of VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution) technology, a form of voice over IP (also referred to as “HD Voice” by AT&T and Verizon). 

Mobile wireless handset devices more than a few years old likely do not support VoLTE and will no longer work when the 3G technology is shut down in 2022.

Other devices in addition to cell phones will be affected. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) advises consumers to prepare for the 3G shutdown.

Consumers with cellular devices that use 3G technology should contact their provider to find out what their options are.

For more information, please see the Department’s 3G Network Shutdown webpage.