Does 3G Still Work? Preparing for the 3G Shutdown in 2023 and What It Means for You

As the world moves towards faster and more advanced wireless networking technologies, it's essential to ask the question, "does 3G still work?" and understand what the upcoming 3G shutdown in 2023 means for you and your devices.

In the early 2000s, 3G (third-generation) wireless networks revolutionized the way we used our mobile devices by providing faster data transmission speeds and improved connectivity. However, with the rapid advancements in technology and the rise of 4G and 5G networks, the era of 3G is coming to an end. In this article, we'll explore the upcoming 3G shutdown in 2023 and what it means for users who still rely on 3G connectivity for their devices.

The 3G Shutdown: What It Means for Users

The 3G shutdown is a result of wireless carriers focusing their resources on more advanced technologies, such as 4G LTE and 5G networks. These newer networks offer significantly faster data speeds, lower latency, and improved overall performance compared to 3G. As a result, carriers in the US and Canada have decided to phase out their 3G networks in 2022.

The shutdown will have a significant impact on devices that still rely on 3G connectivity. Once 3G networks are turned off, these devices will no longer be able to connect to cellular data networks, rendering them virtually useless for many essential functions. This includes older smartphones, tablets, alarm systems, car assistance tools, and other devices that depend on 3G for data transmission.

Identifying 3G-Only Devices and Their Limitations

To prepare for the 3G shutdown, it's crucial to identify whether your devices are 3G-only. Common 3G-only devices include:

  • Older smartphones and feature phones
  • Early-generation tablets
  • Certain home security and alarm systems
  • Car assistance tools and GPS devices that rely on 3G connectivity

These devices will face several limitations once 3G networks are shut down. For instance, older smartphones and tablets may lose the ability to access the internet, make calls, or send text messages. Alarm systems that rely on 3G connectivity may no longer function correctly, potentially leaving your home or business vulnerable. Similarly, car assistance tools and GPS devices that use 3G networks may lose their ability to provide real-time traffic updates, location tracking, and emergency assistance.

Upgrading to 4G or 5G-Compatible Devices

To avoid the limitations imposed by the 3G shutdown, it's essential to upgrade your devices to models that support 4G or 5G networks. Upgrading your devices offers several benefits:

  • Faster data speeds: 4G and 5G networks provide significantly faster data transmission speeds compared to 3G, allowing you to browse the internet, stream videos, and download files more quickly.
  • Improved connectivity: Newer devices often have better antennas and support for multiple network bands, resulting in more reliable connections and fewer dropped calls.
  • Access to new features and services: Many modern apps and services require 4G or 5G connectivity to function correctly, so upgrading your devices ensures you can take advantage of these features.

When choosing a new device, consider the following factors:

  • Compatibility with your carrier: Make sure the device you choose is compatible with your carrier's 4G or 5G networks.
  • Device type: Consider whether you need a smartphone, tablet, alarm system, or car assistance tool, and choose a device that meets your specific needs.
  • Budget: Newer devices can be more expensive, so set a budget and look for devices within your price range.

Ensuring a Smooth Transition for Devices That Can Switch Between Networks

If you have devices that can switch between 3G and 4G or 5G networks, it's essential to ensure a smooth transition by following these tips:

  • Update your software: Regularly check for and install software updates on your devices, as these updates may include improvements to network connectivity and settings.
  • Adjust your settings: Make sure your devices are set to use 4G or 5G networks by default, rather than falling back to 3G. This can usually be done in the device's network settings.
  • Monitor your connectivity: Keep an eye on your device's network connection and signal strength, especially after the 3G shutdown date. If you experience any issues, contact your carrier for assistance.

3G Shutdown Dates by Carrier

The 3G shutdown dates vary by carrier, so it's essential to be aware of the specific date for your provider. Here are the shutdown dates for major carriers in the US and Canada:

  • AT&T: February 2022
  • Verizon: December 2022
  • T-Mobile: July 2022 (for Sprint's 3G CDMA network)
  • Bell (Canada): January 2022
  • Rogers (Canada): December 2022
  • Telus (Canada): To be announced

Please note that these dates are subject to change, so it's crucial to check with your carrier for the most up-to-date information.


As the 3G shutdown approaches, it's essential to prepare for the transition by upgrading your devices and ensuring a smooth switch to 4G or 5G networks. By taking action now, you can avoid potential disruptions in your connectivity and continue to enjoy the benefits of faster, more reliable wireless networks. Don't wait until it's too late - start preparing for the 3G shutdown today!