3G is going away. Here's how to prepare: Talking Tech podcast

Asia's Tech News Daily

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Hey, the listeners. It’s Brett Molina. Welcome back to Talking Tech. My co-host Mike Snider is off today. So you’ve likely heard a lot about the ushering in of 5g wireless tech. We’ve seen a lot of new phones out that support 5g, the iPhone 13, the next wave of Samsung Galaxies. With 5g rolling in, though, it means we’re getting closer to the end of 3g. It first arrived in 2002. Verizon was the first to launch a 3g network in the US. And this was during a time when the hot smartphone was the Blackberry and we were still a few years away from seeing an iPhone. And this was also at a time where we were mainly using our phones for stuff like texting, maybe taking photos here and there, and actually calling people, which is kind of hard to believe in light of how much smartphones have changed now. Looking ahead to now, we use our smartphones for so much more.

We email, we take photos, share photos, we watch TV, we game. There’s just lots of stuff we do on our phones now. And so the network has had to bolster up in order to support all those needs. But with all these wireless carriers like Verizon and AT&T and T-Mobile ushering in this 5g era, it means they’re going to end support for 3g in order to make room. We’re going to talk about this right now. What does it mean for you with 3g going away? I also write about this in a story that you can read on tech.usatoday.com. So let’s start here. When is 3g going away? Each of the wireless carriers has different dates for when they’re going to retire their services. AT&T says it will shut down its 3g service by February 22. Verizon says their network will go away no later than the end of next year so closer to December 31st of next year.

T-Mobile says it will retire all its 3g networks, which includes the network that was obtained through its merger with Sprint by the middle of next year. When this does go away, it basically means that owners of 3g phones won’t be able to make phone calls or have any data or anything like that. The devices that are impacted by this, you can check out your local carrier. They have breakdowns of all the devices that are affected. Looking a little bit more broadly, if you have an iPhone, basically, if you have an iPhone 6 or later, you’re good. If you have stuff like the iPhone 5 and further back, those models are going to be impacted by this. Basically you can’t use them to make phone calls anymore or to text or anything like that. If you’re using data, there are also several models of the Samsung Galaxy phones, even prior to this newer wave of phones that they have, the S series, those are affected as well.

There are also some 4g phones that are impacted. If you do not support the HD voice feature on your phone, that will also affect you too when 3g goes away. The Federal Communications Commission also notes that there are other gadgets as well, medical devices, home security systems, other connected products that could stop working once 3g is gone. So what can you do to get ready for this? First step is to probably double check your phone, make sure you have a phone that is not running on 3g. If it is, double check and find out if it will still be usable once 3g goes away, do you need to update your phone or if you need to upgrade. A lot of these carriers have talked about already reaching out to consumers and letting them know if they do have a 3g phone in that their service will be impacted as a result.

If you have other devices that aren’t a phone, best bet is to check with the manufacturer and just figure out what you need to do, if you can just update it or you need to upgrade all to get other. Something else to think about is for a lot of people that have emergency kits, they might have an old phone handy where it’s really just available if you have to call 911. Because even though on those phones, you don’t have plans on them, you can still dial 911 in case something, an emergency happens.

If that phone is on 3g, it won’t work at all. So if you do have a phone that you use for that purpose, you might want to consider replacing that. You can read more about the change in 3g. You can also learn a little bit more about 5g and why it’s such a big deal on tech.usatoday.com. Listeners, let’s hear from you. Do you have any comments, questions, or show ideas, any tech problems you want us to try to address? You can find me on Twitter at BrettMolina23. Please don’t forget to subscribe and rate us or leave a review on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, anywhere you get your podcasts. You’ve been listening to Talking Tech. We’ll be back tomorrow with another quick hit from the world of tech.

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