IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

AT&T to shut down 3G network this week

The end of service threatens elderly customers, warns industry group

AT&T is poised to shut down its 3G network this week despite concerns that it could leave emergency notification services useless for users including the elderly.

AT&T originally announced the shutdown of its network in 2019, giving customers three years to transition to its 4G infrastructure. It began recycling some of its 3G spectrum that year to serve the development of its 5G service.

Despite the advanced notice, industry commentators have complained that some services relying on 3G will be badly affected. The Monitoring Association (TMA), a trade association for the professional monitoring industry, warned that the shutdown will affect millions of Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) services often used to monitor elderly people at home.

The pandemic, along with supply chain constraints, have limited companies' ability to obtain and install new products, TMA said. Last month, its Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC) petitioned the FCC to delay AT&T's shutdown date.

The shutdown will affect other services including connectivity in cars. Acura is one of several vendors warning that their in-car systems, which offer concierge, collision notification, emergency calling, and real-time traffic information, will no longer work on some vehicles.

Related Resource

Integration tools and strategies for SAP S/4HANA

Tackling some of the world's greatest technology challenges

Whitepaper cover with title and blue vertical band to the right with digital globe imageFree Download

The shutdown also means that phones on the AT&T network not supporting at least 4G will not get data or voice service. This includes Apple iPhones prior to version 6. The company has published a list of phones that will work on its network after the shut-down.

AT&T's 3G shut-down is part of a wider phasing out as other providers sunset their infrastructure. Verizon originally pledged to shut down its CDMA-based 3G network at the end of 2019, but has since delayed it until the end of this year. T-Mobile plans to shut down the T-Mobile UMTS 3G network by July 1 this year. It will also finish shutting down Sprint's CDMA-based 3G network by March 31.

The UK government has pledged to phase out 3G networks by 2033, and Vodaphone has committed to begin its shutdown next year.

Featured Resources

Accelerating AI modernisation with data infrastructure

Generate business value from your AI initiatives

Free Download

Recommendations for managing AI risks

Integrate your external AI tool findings into your broader security programs

Free Download

Modernise your legacy databases in the cloud

An introduction to cloud databases

Free Download

Powering through to innovation

IT agility drive digital transformation

Free Download

Most Popular

Salaries for the least popular programming languages surge as much as 44%

Salaries for the least popular programming languages surge as much as 44%

23 Jun 2022
The top programming languages you need to learn for 2022
Careers & training

The top programming languages you need to learn for 2022

23 Jun 2022
Swift exit: How the world cut off Russian banks

Swift exit: How the world cut off Russian banks

24 Jun 2022