End of 3G service, cutting off millions of cell phones

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Mobile carriers will be dropping 3G service sooner than many think.

AT&T will begin shutting down its 3G service on February 22.

Michelle Jones says she has to find a new phone for her mother because of the change.

“I think she has a flip phone,” she said.

Verizon and T-Mobile will also be ending their 3G service later this year.

This is all part of an FCC plan to free up spectrum for 5G.

Kevin Leary is not happy. He says many people cannot afford new phones.

“I think it’s bad,” he said. “A lot of people can’t afford these new phones. They’re so expensive these days.”

Flip phones aren’t the only devices affected

The Associated Press warns that 1.5 million families still have 3G home alarms, which also need to be upgraded.

An AT&T spokesperson said it “helps customers navigate this transition.”

The company added that it would “provide free replacement phones” to most people using older flip phones.

The key, however, is to check with your provider as soon as possible so that phones and security devices don’t shut down when 3G goes down. This way you don’t waste your money.

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FULL STATEMENT FROM AT&T

“We plan to end service on our 3G wireless networks on February 22. This will help free up spectrum to better accommodate next-generation technologies and services. We have been and continue to communicate with our customers through direct mail, e- emails and SMS, as we help them navigate this transition. This includes providing free replacement phones to a large majority of customers.”

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