Think 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE and 5G only apply to cell phones? Think again! These cellular technologies are also used for communication modems in many critical sectors such as power distribution, gas utilities, pipelines, and Municipal Water/Wastewater control systems.
If you are a Municipal Water or Wastewater utility make sure to regularly review which control system, fleet tracking, and scada modem technologies you are currently using. Cellular network provodrs are currently in the process of shutting down older 2G and 3G networks in order to make room for newer 5G and 6G networks. It is imperative that utilities transition away from older 2G and 3G equipment as soon as possible.
See below for more detailed technical information from the the FCC in the United States. It’s a similar situation at many other countries:
Phase Out of 3G Cellular Networks and Service
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a reminder that “Mobile carriers are shutting down their 3G networks, which rely on older technology, to make room for more advanced network services, including 5G. As a result, many older cell phones will be unable to make or receive calls and texts, including calls to 911, or use data services. This will affect 3G mobile phones and certain older 4G mobile phones that do not support Voice over LTE (VoLTE or HD Voice).”
The 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 December 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 UMTS network by July 1, 2022, but has not yet announced a shutdown date for its 2G network.
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’s, Verizon’s, and T-Mobile’s networks.