Is your phone 3G? What you need to know to stay connected

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Starting next year you might want to check what type of service your phone uses to make calls because all the major cellular companies will be ending 3G service in the new year.

It’s pretty easy to find out and there are two ways to do so. On the top of your phone screen you should be able to see if it says 3G 4G or 5G. If you don’t see it there go into settings and search under the cellular tab, click on “Data options” and there will tell you what you use for voice & data.

“Across the nation, major cell phone providers have announced that they will be removing all of the 3G services during 2022 in order to make more room for 5G service,” Dona Ana County Officer of Emergency Management officer Stephen Lopez said.

If you bought a phone in the last two years, more than likely it will have 5G capabilities and you won’t have to worry about the end of 3G. But, officials are concerned when it ends, some people won’t be able to call 911.

“If they try to connect once their particular provider’s 3G goes away, they will simply get a message they will not be able to connect and the service is not available,” Lopez said.

According to the FCC T-Mobile plans to end 3G by March 31, 2022, AT&T will pull the plug in February and Verizon says they will shut down their 3G network by Dec. 31, 2022.

With the deadline quickly approaching, Dona Ana Emergency Management is making sure even the most venerable population is prepared for the change.

“We know a number of the domestic violence shelters for example have been giving away free cellphones to domestic violence victims for calling 911 and so we have already reached out to them to make sure they are aware and are providing phones that will work in 2022,” Lopez said.

But it’s not just phones, certain medical devices, security systems, smart watches, and Wi-Fi routers my also rely on 3G.

If you are still unsure what type of connection your phone uses, the best thing to do next is to contact your cellular provider to find out if you need an upgrade and when their 3G service will be turned off.