3G Shutdown Information
At Appalachian Wireless, we are constantly striving to enhance our network and relationships with roaming partners to provide the best possible experience for our customers. These enhancements can lead to significant changes as older technologies are replaced with newer ones. One such change is expected to happen later this year. By December 2022, we expect that older 3G services will be turned off on our network, as well as the networks of many of our roaming partners across the nation. In order to prepare for this 3G shutdown, we need to ensure you have a device that is set up for VoLTE service.
What is happening?
Appalachian Wireless and other carriers across the nation are shutting down their 3G networks in order to make room for more advanced network services, including 5G. Although Appalachian Wireless does not expect to fully shut down its 3G network until December 2022, parts of the network will retire sooner, which will impact service. Some of our roaming partners have already begun shutting down their 3G networks, which may be impacting your wireless experience when you are traveling. Due to these changes, 3G mobile phones and certain older 4G mobile phones that do not support Voice over LTE (VoLTE) will be unable to make or receive calls (including calls to 911), send or receive text messages, or use data services.
What do I need to do?
If your mobile device is more than a few years old, you may need to upgrade your device. Some devices may only require a software update to enable VoLTE. You should be able to check whether your device is 4G LTE (with VoLTE) enabled by checking your phone's settings or user manual, or by searching your phone's model number online or using the tool below. If you need assistance in determining whether your device will be impacted, please contact us.
Devices currently supported include:
- iPhone 6s and newer
- Samsung Galaxy S9 and newer
Does this just impact phones?
No. Other devices, such as tablets, smart watches, vehicle SOS services, home security systems, and other connected products may be using 3G network services. And don't forget about devices that use cellular connectivity as a back-up when a wired internet connection goes down. If the device is not labeled, contact the monitoring company or other service provider to confirm how the device connects and whether your device may be impacted.
Why are 3G networks being phased out?
As mobile carriers seek to upgrade their networks to use the latest technologies, they periodically shut down older services, such as 3G, to free up spectrum and infrastructure to support new services, such as 5G. Similar transitions have happened before. For example, some mobile carriers shut down their 2G networks when they upgraded their networks to support 4G services.
How can I get more information?
For more information on how you can prepare, please visit one of our retail locations or call our customer service department at 1-800-438-2355 or by dialing 611 from your Appalachian Wireless phone. We are available to take your call from 7AM-7PM Monday thru Friday and 8AM-2PM on Saturdays.