Prepare now for the phasing out of 3G for older cell phones – Delco Times


The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Pennsylvania State Police are urging residents with older cell phones to prepare for the phase-out of 3G cellular networks and services in 2022.

“The best course of action is to contact your service provider to determine if your devices are compliant,” said Jeff Boyle, PEMA Assistant for 911. “It’s important to plan now so you don’t lose connectivity. .”

The country’s three major wireless carriers (AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile) have announced plans to shut down their 3G networks to accommodate more advanced services, including 5G, as early as February 2022. As a result, many older phones will not be able to make or receive calls and texts or use data services. It may also affect other devices that rely on 3G connectivity, such as medical alert devices, tablets, smartwatches, home security systems, and safety, security, and roadside assistance systems. embarked.

“If your mobile phone is more than a few years old, you may need to upgrade your device before your provider shuts down their 3G network and you lose service, including the ability to call 911,” said Lt. Adam Reed, PSP Communications Office. Director. “In an emergency, every minute counts, whether you need police, firefighters or medical assistance.”

Most users of these services will be notified directly by the carriers if this disruption affects them. However, users of older phones that are only used for 911 connectivity may not receive the notification if they do not have active service with a carrier.

Organizations that serve homeless people or victims of domestic violence sometimes provide their customers with older phones without a service plan to make emergency calls. Users of these types of 911-only phones should check with the organization that provided the phone for their options.

Low-income people concerned that their 911-only phones will no longer be supported should consider requesting service through the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline program. Information on eligibility, participating providers and the application process can be found at

Approximately 70% of 911 calls in Pennsylvania are made annually from a cell phone, either by voice call or text. Text-to-911 is not yet available in all counties. You can find the status of SMS service to 911 in the county where you live or work online.

Although voice calls to 911 are always preferred, there are situations where texting may be necessary. Making noise can endanger the caller or someone has a medical emergency that prevents them from speaking; or people have speech or hearing impairments.

In Pennsylvania, each county is responsible for providing 911 service within its jurisdiction through a centralized Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) where all incoming 911 calls are received and routed to the appropriate local police, fire department or emergency medical services.

Pennsylvania has 61 PSAPs serving 67 counties. A county can provide 911 service by participating in a regional 911 system.

Pennsylvania PSAPs handle approximately 14.5 million emergency service requests each year.


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