3G Is About to Be Shut Down in the US: What Does It Mean for Consumers?

Meta: The shutdown of 3G is finally here. This will affect many different types of devices – not just smartphones! Find out more about the changes here.

After years of being the preferred network for many, 3G is finally shutting down. This will have a greater effect than many might imagine, and it is something that should be noted by everyone. Though your phone might no longer use 3G, there are other devices in your life that might.

Upgrade Your Phone

Of course, the primary device that a 3G shutdown will target is that of your phone. Though many people will be using a 4G or even a 5G-enabled device, there are those who prefer an older model. Many of these won’t have the capacity to switch to 4G and definitely won’t be able to move onto the 5G network. It is generally thought that any iPhones from the iPhone 6 and newer will be fine, as will Samsung Galaxy S5s and newer models – in other words, smartphones launched after 2014.

It is thought that about 99% of Americans are using 4G or LTE networks, but there is a population who make use of devices that require 2G or 3G networks. However, not all of these are phones. For those who do have phones with this connection, it might be as simple as upgrading to a new handset. For some of the many other devices, however, things might not be as simple as this.

Other Devices Due to Be Affected

Many other internet-enabled devices will become Wi-Fi-only following this shutdown. This could affect a wide variety of tablets, e-readers, and even older generations of smartwatches. If you use such a device to play casual games, read, or even just browse the internet, prepare for this to only be available to you if you have access to a Wi-Fi connection following the shutdown.

However, the major concern comes when considering home alarms. The largest provider ADT has already taken steps to ensure that its alarms have been upgraded to use 4G signals, but there are plenty of others that might not have made the upgrade. The same concerns also arise for medical alert devices. It is of vital importance that anyone with these devices checks with the related company to see if an upgrade is needed. For something as crucial as a medical alert device, this is something that cannot be ignored.

Not Just Handheld Devices

Think that this is just going to be limited to handheld devices like phones, or other ones like alarms? Think again! This could also affect certain models of cars. Some makes and models of cars do use 3G systems, and this is something that someone is likely to hold onto for some length of time. Though they might have the latest smartphones, someone might decide that they want to hold onto their car for as long as they possibly can.

The shutdown will not affect someone’s ability to drive their car, but it could impact many of the features and functions that we take for granted with modern vehicles. Important features like remote start and integrated navigation can be affected as the car won’t be able to access its network any longer. If you rely on these internal services within your car, it might be time to look into other solutions.

The 3G shutdown was always going to happen, especially with the rollout of 5G. With more and more moving to use this network, it only makes sense that this shutdown was then going to arise. There is no point in holding on to a system that only few will use, even if it does affect services like alarms and cars. Upgrades can be made, and a shutdown on this scale will force technology to move forward. If you have any devices that will be affected by this shutdown, make sure that you can find an alternative solution that will not cause you to lose out. Any upgrades you need to make should be acquired as soon as possible.