3G phones will stop working soon. Here’s what to do

AT&T has started sending text messages to users of 3G-only phones. The message reads,

AT&T Free Msg: ALERT: AT&T is taking steps to shut down the 3G network, so you can do all the things you love only faster. This means your phone won’t work once 3G goes away in February 22 and you’ll need to change it. Starting April 12, 2021, we may redirect your call to customer service to help you upgrade your phone. Some features like voicemail won’t work during this time. To learn more or upgrade now, visit an AT&T store.

That’s right, it’s finally happening.

The first 3G phones started hitting AT&T’s network about 2007, and here we are fourteen years later and we’re looking at the end of 3G. For most people, this won’t have any impact at all other than freeing up some spectrum so their internet will move faster. For some folks, though, it’s a problem.

Who is affected by this? Who still has 3G?

Up until last year, AT&T was still selling prepaid phones that were 3G-only. There are plenty of people with older phones, especially those who keep them just for emergencies or who rely on a land line. I know one person who was still rocking an original iPhone 3G up until last year.

Truth is, if it weren’t for bad battery life, most folks would keep their phones a lot longer. And if battery life isn’t really an issue for you because you don’t use the phone a lot, you’re likely to keep that phone a long time.

As much as most of us are excited for the blazing-fast speeds of 5G, there are still plenty of folks who make calls and that’s about it.

What can you do if you get this message?

It’s your choice. You can hang onto that 3G phone until the bitter end if you want. You’ll just have to put up with increasing amounts of annoyance as services are shut down. But, of course, there’s another option.

You can call Signal Connect at 888-233-7563. The experts there can help you choose a phone that’s right for your budget and your needs. We’re AT&T Preferred dealers, which means we have access to the same tools you can get in-store.

Why not just go to an AT&T store?

Of course, even though the world is a safer place every day, we’re still not all out of the woods. So you might not really want to go into an enclosed space and touch a bunch of things that other people have touched. You just might not be at that point in your journey yet. And we understand.

Signal Connect gives you the personal service you won’t get anywhere else. We’ll spend more time with you than those folks at brick-and-mortar stores, and we have a much better call center operation than AT&T itself. All of our reps are located in Michigan. Although some are still working safely and remotely, they have access to all the tools they’ll need. And they speak your language. They understand your needs.

So, call 888-233-7563 now or fill out the form below if it’s after East Coast business hours. You’ll be glad you did.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.