You Could Be Affected by AT&T Losing 3G – Here’s What You Need to Know
Full Disclosure here, I don't use AT&T. But, I do have a phone that could be considered "3G" so I do have a vested interest in this story.
Customers who are affected have probably been hearing this for while - but as of today, AT&T does not support 3G anymore on many of their phones, tablets, and other devices. If your device is on the chopping block, it may very soon be out of service. They're doing it, as they put it, to make room for better technology.
So what does this mean for you? Well, first off all, don't panic. Second, find out if you're actually affected. You might have an older phone or device that will still work. Go here and you'll be able to follow some simple enough instructions to see if your phone will still work. The list tells you what devices will still work. So if yours isn't on the list... you might be out of luck. Now how do you tell if you're even on the list?
I'll show you. For example. My phone, again, not with AT&T, but still, is on this list. I went into my phone, then to Settings, then System, then About Phone, then Hardware info. There I discovered that my model number is LML414DL. Looking at the list under LG, I see mine as Premier Pro LTE, and it's listed as a model that will still work after the phase out.
Of course this isn't just about phones. It's also about tablets, smart watches, On Star in vehicles, alarm systems, and medical devices (think fall detectors). So what can you do? Is there a way to keep your device without a costly replacement? The short answer is... yes. But you might need some help. According to CNN:
For those who don't want to get rid of their 3G mobile devices, there are some workarounds. In theory, it will be possible to access a web browser via Wi-Fi or make calls over wireless on a 3G phone if the user has an app enabling voice-over-internet protocol, such as Facebook Messenger. Similarly, people with a 3G e-reader will still be able to download new books on the device via Wi-Fi.
Now some things, like alarm systems or On Star, may just need a system upgrade, not a replacement. Basically like an update your computer does. But some may need replacing, and you may need to make an appointment to do so.
So does this mean you're stranded now? Not necessarily. This does NOT mean flip phones are being phased out, and it doesn't mean that you'll have to change your phone plan or even your SIM card. You may have to get an upgrade, but don't assume you're going to have to plunk out thousands of dollars. Basically, if what you've got now doesn't support HD Voice, you gotta upgrade. But if you can get by on Wi-Fi calling (like they said with Messenger) for a bit until you decide what you want to do, that'll work.
Either way, I think I'm gonna look at an upgrade here in the next few months. If you're in the same boat with me, you might want to as well. It's probably better to bite the bullet and get the upgrade now before you absolutely have to.
Do you know anyone affected by the 3G phase out? What are they going to do?