Sun-setting 3G

What Is 3G Sunsetting?

3G sunsetting means that a mobile network operator (or carriers) shuts of the cellular infrastructure required to operate communication devices based on 3G (UMTS, HSPA, EVDO) technology. 

Why Do Carriers Shut Down Networks?

In many cases, the migration away from 2G and 3G networks is driven by the desire of mobile network operators to repurpose spectrum for faster and more efficient 4G LTE devices. It is also more cost-effective to operate a LTE network than a 2G or 3G network, because more devices can share the available spectrum. Prior to sunsetting a network, mobile network operators may regionally repurpose spectrum or tune their radio access network. In these cases, your device may lose connectivity ahead of the 3G sunset date.

Major wireless network carriers are in the process of phasing out their 3G networks. Commonly referred to as the 3G sunset, this is the period when wireless carriers shut off their 3G services to make room for upgraded connectivity. When this occurs, all devices that are not 4G LTE compatible or higher will no longer receive cellular service.

What does the 3G sunset mean for you?

The 3G sunset could mean loss of connection, loss of signal and data transferring. If you are on our network we have you covered. However if you have additional devices, phones, GPS or modems you may have legacy equipment.

The 3G network shutdown is not expected to be completed until the end of 2022, but some networks are already beginning their phase-out. One of the first sunset dates for a major cellular network in the U.S. is expected to occur on December 31, 2020.

What can you do to prepare?

To help prepare for the 3G/4G transition, there are several things you can do to prepare. For an example, managers can start by checking all devices to determine how many are still operating on 3G networks. Creating an installation plan for new 4G-supported devices is an important next step.

Do All Carriers Have the Same 3G Sunset Date?

The short answer is: no. However as cellular technology continues to evolve and consumers continue to demand faster, more reliable, and cost-effective connectivity, carriers in the cellular space plan to migrate to fourth-generation LTE technology to free up available wireless spectrum.

What are the 3G sunset dates?

Verizon: December 31, 2022 Press release.

AT&T: February 2022 Press release.

Sprint/ T-Mobile: January 1, 2022 Press release.

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