AT&T's 3G shutdown won't just affect old phones
Alarm and car emergency systems still need to upgradeBy Daniel Sims 10 comments
Why it matters: For about a year, there have been warnings about what devices might get left behind when major mobile carriers shut down their 3G networks this year. The AT&T 3G sunset is just days away, and a group representing alarm companies says it needs more time to upgrade.
On February 22, AT&T plans to close the book on 3G to make room for the upgrade to 5G. It says it has given companies and consumers that rely on their networks three years' notice about this, but the Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC) wants an extension.
In a filing to the FCC earlier this month, communication organization Public Knowledge claimed that factors like the global pandemic and the semiconductor shortage introduced difficulties in upgrading from 3G. In an FCC filing from earlier this week, AT&T points out that alarm company ADT has already upgraded nearly all of its 3G systems.
Alarm systems are just one area that faces problems from the end of 3G. In-car emergency systems like OnStar have to issue over-the-air or hardware updates in some older cars. Last summer, Amazon also warned that older Kindles that used 2G and 3G might lose access to the internet.
Along with AT&T, T-Mobile will shut down its 3G network at the end of March, and Verizon will follow suit at the end of the year.