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Mobile carriers announced that they are shutting down 3G networks to make room for more advanced network services, including 5G. This means that older technology made for the 3G networks will no longer work by the end of 2022. This includes phones, tablets, smartwatches, certain medical devices, and some assistive technology devices with SIM cards. Phones will not be able to make or receive calls and texts, including calls to 911, or use data services. People with disabilities who use 3G and some older 4G devices need to know about this shutdown and find alternative devices for their communications and assistive technology needs. Many carriers are offering free or low-cost replacement phones or devices.

Shutdown Timeline

Some shutdowns began as early as Jan. 1, 2022, though plans and timing to phase out 3G services will vary by company and may change. Consult your mobile provider’s website for the most up-to-date information.

  • AT&T announced that it will finish shutting down its 3G network by February 2022.
  • Verizon announced that will finish shutting down its 3G network by Dec. 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. 

These dates are for completing the shutdowns. Carriers may retire parts of their networks sooner. 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, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks.

How to Prepare

To prevent losing connectivity, contact your provider immediately or consult its website. Some websites provide a list of devices that will be shut down, as well as information on discounted or free updates for people who need to update their devices. The following links include major carrier webpages that address these topics:

  • AT&T provides 3G support on your devices. The website includes a scheduler to make an appointment at a retail store to receive support on your cell phone issues. You can also call 611 on your AT&T mobile phone to speak with a representative. Learn more.
  • Verizon also provides as list of devices that will lose connectivity in 2022. The company’s site recommends that users contact a local Verizon representative to update their technologies. Be sure to ask about discounts and deals offered for these updates. Learn more.
  • T-Mobile’s website states, “Sprint and T-Mobile merged in April 2020 … Sprint customers with 3G (CDMA) devices will be able to pay the same or less for 4G/5G service from T-Mobile and can upgrade to a new device at no cost. These customers can log in to their accounts to check upgrade eligibility and view deals on the latest devices, including offers for a free 5G phone.” Learn more.


The Federal Communications Commission developed a consumer guide (PDF) with information about the shutdown. Additionally, the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Technology Access Program created the 3G Shutdown 2022 Resources webpage with information on obtaining internet and internet-capable devices.

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