By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Massachusetts public safety officials are telling residents to be prepared for the shutdown of 3G cellular networks early next year.

Big cellular companies are planning to retire 3G service in order to make room for faster networks like 5G. AT&T will end 3G in February 2022, T-Mobile/Sprint will shut it down on March 31, 2022 and Verizon plans to halt its 3G service by the end of 2022.

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“The federal government and cellular providers have announced that older phones and devices will lose call and data functions, including the ability to contact 911,” the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security said in a statement. “EOPSS urges Massachusetts residents and businesses who rely on older technology to plan for the potential loss of cell and data functions, specifically 911 service availability.”

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Phones that are more than several years old might need an upgrade before the 3G shutdown. Anyone with a phone older than an iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S4 should contact their carrier to figure out if they need a new phone or a software upgrade.

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Click here to read more about the shutdown from the FCC. Staff