Cell Phone ‘sunsetting’ – Be on the Lookout
Cell phone technology marches forward. There's been a lot in the news over the last couple of years or so about 5G, both good and bad things. It's still going to be a while before it makes its way into Montana, though. But that's a discussion for another day.
What I have to talk about today is the major cell phone carriers shutting down (or 'sunsetting') their older technologies, specifically 3G and the older 4G tech. For reference, 3G really became a big thing in the mid-00's. And, yes, there are still phones and other devices that old still in use. For example, if your home or office security system isn't tied into a physical phone line, it probably uses a cell phone antenna to provide service.
Around this time last year, AT&T started sending notices to their customers, letting them know that AT&T would be shutting down their older cell systems in early 2022, and that if the customer didn't exchange the affected device(s) before then, once the shutdown happened, they wouldn't have any service.
Just as they said, AT&T commenced their shutdown earlier this year, in February/March. Sprint/T-Mobile followed, shutting down the older Sprint systems in March and June, according to this article on their website. T-Mobile's older equipment began being retired this month, according to the same article. Verizon was originally going to shut theirs down in 2020, but that got delayed (no prizes for guessing why). So now, the date they've set is the end of this year.
If your phone is more than, oh, seven or eight years old it's probably impacted by this, so let me first say congratulations for keeping it working that long, and second, go into your cell provider and confirm whether or not it is.