As you may have heard, mobile carriers across the U.S. are shutting down their 3G networks, which rely on older technology, to make room for more advanced network service, including 5G. This shutdown will impact more than just cellphones – it impacts other devices, such as tablets, home security systems, certain medical devices and other connected products that may be using 3G network services – some of which may be currently in use at your communities. It also includes devices that use cellular connectivity as a backup when a wired internet connection goes down.
Additionally, the FCC has mandated major providers to sunset copper Plain Old Telephone Systems (POTS) lines.
This process is happening as we speak.
- AT&T® announced that it will finish shutting down its 3G network by February 2022.
- Verizon® announced that it will finish shutting down its 3G network by December 31, 2022.
- T-Mobile® announced that it will finish shutting down Sprint’s 3G CDMA network by March 31, 2022, and Sprint’s 4G LTE network by June 30, 2022. It also announced it will shut down T-Mobile’s 3G UMTS network by July 1, 2022, but has not yet announced a shutdown date for its 2G network.
- The copper POTS lines will sunset by the beginning of August 2022.
If your mobile carrier is not listed here, you may still be affected. Many carriers, such as Cricket®, Boost®, Straight Talk® and several Lifeline mobile service providers, utilize AT&T’s, Verizon’s and T-Mobile’s networks.
Note: These are dates for completing the shutdowns. Carriers may begin retiring parts of their networks sooner.
It is important to contact your mobile provider or consult your provider’s website for more information about their 3G retirement plan and whether your phone, or other connected device, may be affected. It is important to plan now so that you don’t lose connectivity — including monitoring devices contacting proper responding parties and the ability to call 911.
Below are examples of devices that may currently rely on 3G or POTS lines at apartment communities:
- Elevator equipment/monitoring lines/call boxes
Fire alarm panels
- Security alarm systems
- Emergency call boxes/emergency phones
- Meter-reading devices
- Elevator emergency phones (Kings III)
- Gate systems/call boxes
- Office phone/fax lines
For more information, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/plan-ahead-phase-out-3gcellular-networks-and-service