REISTERSTOWN, MD â The Maryland 9-1-1 council is issue a warning consumers that older phones may stop working in early 2022 due to the withdrawal of 3G networks and support for phones using 3G service.
This can include other devices that use 3G connectivity, such as certain medical alert devices, tablets, smart watches, and home security systems.
The country’s three major mobile operators (AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile) have each announced that they plan to discontinue 3G service in favor of 4G (LTE) and 5G services in 2022. According to the FCC website, AT&T will discontinue service in February, T-Mobile / Sprint will discontinue service between March and July, and Verizon will discontinue service at the end of 2022.
Most of the users of these services will be notified directly by the carriers if this interruption affects them. However, users of older phones used only for 9-1-1 purposes may not be notified if they do not have active service with the provider.
It has been a long tradition for some organizations that homeless or domestic violence shelters provide clients with older, no-service phones, as these phones can still be used to call 9-1-1 in the event of a problem. emergency. Users of these older 9-1-1-only phones should be aware that they may not work after discontinuing 3G service.
Low-income people who are concerned that their 9-1-1 phones may no longer be supported should consider requesting service through the Federal Lifeline program. Information regarding eligibility and participating vendors is available online at www.lifelinesupport.org.
Photo via Pixabay