Does your age coincide with that of your phone? Take a look at your phone. If you are connected to a 4G network or 5G network, that's a good thing. But if your mobile device is still using 3G technology, well, so long.

Starting next year, the 3G networks of three of the big carriers will begin to phase out that technology. In a release by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (SDPUC) AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile, plan to phase out their 3G networks in 2022.

Specific deadlines for this transition vary by company. Sprint, which is owned by T-Mobile, has announced that it will shut down its 3G network by January 1, 2022. AT&T will follow suit phasing out 3G by February 2022. Verizon will end the 3G service by December 31, 2022. T-Mobile also plans to phase out its 2G and 3G networks but has not yet announced a deadline.

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Many wireless providers shut down 2G networks in favor of building out the 4G network we now use. Benefitting from experience, many service providers have developed programs and resources to help customers through this process.

So what if you have the older 3G network system?

The SDPUC report indicates some carriers provide lists on their websites of devices that won’t be supported after 3G networks are decommissioned. Some mobile service providers may be offering special deals on new devices for those in need of an upgrade. Other devices may only require a software update to enable advanced services.

Wireless customers may find temporary discounts through the FCC website.

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