Skip to Content

What is the 3G shutdown and will I be impacted?

This year, all major nationwide wireless providers are shutting down their 3G networks to open up valuable space for 4G and 5G networks.

What is 3G?

3G was the former standard for the way cellphones operated and connected to the internet. When it first launched, 3G was what enabled us to have access to the internet via our smartphones. The name 3G refers to it being the third generation of tech that allows our phones to connect to the internet.

Why is the 3G shutdown happening?

Nowadays, 3G networks are outdated. They also take up valuable space that 4G and 5G networks rely on since there are limited frequencies for wireless providers to use. Also, 3G isn’t very cost-effective and can even drain your phone’s battery quicker, among other problems. That’s why the 3G shutdown is positive–it makes room for 4G and 5G technologies, which are faster and more efficient. 4G and 5G are better for you and your phone.

When will 3G be shutdown and will I be impacted?

When the shutdown happens, any phones that run exclusively on these older 3G networks will no longer be able to make or receive calls or use other data services. If you’re an Ultra Mobile
customer, T-Mobile’s older 3G network will shutdown on July 1, 2022. If you’re an impacted subscriber, you will be notified.

You may be impacted by the 3G shutdown if:

You use a 3G exclusive device that is non-voice over long-term evolution (VoLTE) compatible
You have a 4G device that doesn’t allow you to enable VoLTE

Here’s how to enable VoLTE if your phone allows you to do so:

How to Turn on VoLTE on iPhones

Open Settings
Tap Cellular
Tap Cellular Data Options
Under Voice & Data, make sure VoLTE is selected

How to Turn on VoLTE on Samsung (most devices)

Open Settings
Tap Network & Internet
Tap Preferred Network Type
Turn on VoLTE calls

How to Turn on VoLTE on most other Android devices

The easiest way to see if VoLTE is enabled on your Android phone is to check your phone’s Settings. Tap Settings > tap the search icon -> type “volte” -> select VoLTE Calls Menu -> make sure the toggle is switched to on. If you type “VoLTE” and no option appears, the device probably isn’t compatible with VoLTE or it may be defaulted to On if it’s a newer device.

If you have a 3G exclusive device or a 4G device that doesn’t allow you to enable VoLTE, you’ll want to switch to a 4G device that is VoLTE-capable or a 5G device. If you need a new device, please visit our phone store or an Ultra Retailer.