Cellphone carriers will sunset 2G, 3G service in 2022

(WISH) — The fifth generation of mobile communications — 5G — allows customers to send and receive messages, make calls and access data faster than 3G or 2G.

Cellphone carriers are phasing out 2G and 3G to free up more room on their networks.

“We’ve had plenty of time leading up to this. It’s been knowledge for a couple years now that this is going to happen. I think the issue is, there’s so many other things that are at the top of everyone’s mind,” said retired trucker Brian Runnels.

Runnels worries his industry could get hit hard by this change, since the device that tracks a driver’s hours, called an ELD device, runs on 3G.

Truck drivers can only work 11 consecutive hours in a 14-hour period, and the federal government isn’t very lenient with granting exemptions.

“If you are pulled over for an inspection, roadside or a scalehouse and your ELD isn’t working because it’s not on a supported network, you have eight days to get it in there,” said Runnels. “That could be a tough, tough situation.”

The situation will hurt smaller trucking companies more than larger ones, especially in an industry that is already stretched thin because of supply chain issues and a shortage of drivers.

According to the FCC, the major cellphone carriers plan to phase out 3G or 4G in 2022.

  • AT&T will phase out 3G in February 2022.
  • Verizon will shut down its 3G by December 2022.
  • T-Mobile, which merged with Sprint will phase out Sprint’s 3G in March of 2022, and Sprints 4G LTE network by June of 2022.
  • T-Mobile will shudder its 3G network by July of 2022.

Some home security systems that run on 3G may also need to be upgraded. Contact your alarm company and cellphone carrier to be sure you are up to date.