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US might face delay in 3G shutdown; tech still in-use

As telecom companies rev up the newest generation of mobile service, called 5G, they’re shutting down old networks — a costly, years-in-the-works process that’s now prompting calls for a delay because many products out there still rely on the old standard, 3G.

AT&T is scheduled to be the first carrier to shut down its 3G network on Feb. 22. T-Mobile will shut down its 3G network by summer and Verizon in December.

The home-alarm industry has asked the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. regulator, to delay AT&T’s network sunset until December. The FCC is monitoring the 3G phase-out and working to “implement safeguards” for older phones and other devices, spokesperson Paloma Perez said late Monday.

Verizon has already pushed back its shutdown — twice — from an original target date in 2019, saying customers needed more time to update their devices. T-Mobile has also delayed the shutdown of the Sprint 3G network it acquired in 2020, to the end of March; it’ll shut down the T-Mobile 3G network by July 1. AP

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