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The main operators of the United States have begun with the blackout of the 3G that is expected to end completely before the end of 2022.
AT&T has been the first to start with this process. The operator has already started to turn off its 3G towers. “We are phasing out our 3G network in February 2022 in the United States to make room for an even better one that will improve your experience,” it is explained in the AT&T customer service page.
With the closure of the 3G network there will no longer be data or voice service for devices that do not have, at least, 4G connectivity. This means that while some aspects of your phone may continue to function normally, you will not be able to access the AT&T network unless you upgrade to a newer device.
This move will leave some AT&T users offline, although according to the carrier only 1 percent of its customers actually used 3G networks.
The company has been warning users for the past two years and urging them to upgrade to newer phones, even offering them free of charge.
The shutdown of AT&T is expected to be followed by that of T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon (which will be the last of all the operators in the country to carry it out).
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC, for its acronym in English), users of other smaller companies, such as Cricket, Boost, Straight Talk and mobile service providers such as Lifeline, will also be affected, since they use the networks from AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile to provide coverage.