AT&T, one of the country’s most utilized cellular phone service carriers, will shut down 3G service today across the entire nation. Once they do this, phones that do not support at least 4G service will no longer have voice or data services on their towers.
We called AT&T technical support and inquired if this would impact our region. They confirmed that some of the cell towers around Bertie County are AT&T assets.
This means that if you have an older phone and rely on an AT&T tower, you could see service interruptions. However, people with 4G phones or better or who depend on a US Cellular tower will remain unimpacted by the change.
This transition might also impact other devices, such as agricultural equipment with GPS, tablets, and digital readers.
Why Is This Carrier Shutting Down 3G Service?
The 3g network phase-out is “part of a larger plan to improve the network and continue to invest in 5G.” In other words, AT&T needs increased bandwidth to roll out 5G across the nation. So to make room for it, they must remove 3G first.
The AT&T representative explained why this is happening in a clear, non-technical way. Imagine, she said, you go to the store and purchase a big bag of brand new socks. You come home from the store, and your sock drawer is jam-packed. So you must first remove all the old, dingy pairs to make room. You might not want to get rid of the old, but it’s the only way to make room for the new.
Which Phones Will Still Work on AT&T Towers?
AT&T also provided us with a link to share. This resource guide helps consumers check their phone model to see if it will remain compatible with AT&T services. The information explains how to find your cellphone’s exact make and model and then lists those that will stay compatible on the network.
Remember, this change only impacts AT&T towers. If you are on Verizon or US Cellular, you’ll have minimal service interruptions. Primarily, you will feel the impact only as you travel throughout Bertie County.
If you see a sporadic or entire loss of service, check with your cellular provider for advice on how to restore your service.