3G networks are shutting down next year. Here’s what you should know

Thurs. Sept. 30, 2021 | By Heather Kelly – Washington Post |

If you have an old phone, an alarm system or an ankle monitor, your tech could stop working properly next year.

Kami Griffiths has a perfectly fine phone. It’s your standard Samsung Galaxy smartphone with all the important apps, a decent camera and a screen big enough to watch videos. It’s so fine, in fact, she’s had it since 2016 without ever feeling the need to drop hundreds of dollars on an upgrade.

Come next year though, Griffiths won’t have a choice. That’s the current deadline for when the only cellular network her phone can use will shut down forever.

All of the major cellphone carriers — AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile — are planning to shut their older 3G networks in 2022. Like millions of people in the United States who use 3G phones and other 3G devices, she will have to buy a new device if she wants to text, make calls or even reach 911.

When these deadlines do roll around, Griffith’s own phone could be the least of her problems. Griffiths, who is an executive director and co-founder of Community Tech Network — a nonprofit that focuses on digital literacy in San Francisco — is worried that the group’s clients, a mix of mostly older adults and low-income residents, will find themselves either without a working phone, or could struggle to figure out how to use a new device…

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