Report: T-Mobile 3G shutdown won’t happen until 2022

report-t-mobile-delay-3g-network-shutdown

There are reports that T-Mobile will be pushing its End of Life date on 3G. 

Unlike its rivals, T-Mobile has not yet disclosed any information about its plans to discontinue its own and Sprint’s 3G networks. Instead, T-Mobile for Business customers have continually been receiving letters regarding details for device requirements to continue enjoying service. 

These letters include these important dates to remember:

  • January 1 – T-Mobile will no longer accept CDMA-only devices and phones without T-Mobile VoLTE support
  • January 30 – All new activations for T-Mobile 2G or 3G-only devices are blocked
  • October 1 – T-Mobile’s UMTS 3G network is scheduled to close down
  • January 1, 2022 – Sprint’s CDMA 3G network will close down 
  • December 31, 2022 – T-Mobile’s 2G network will be shut down.

 

According to a report, a couple of those milestones have been delayed. It is said that the date on blocking 2G and 3G device activations have been pushed to a later and indefinite date. At the same time, the UMTS shutdown has been suspended for another 6 months, to a new date in April 2022. 

An internal document from July 2022 reminded customers from T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, and its MVNOs to stop activating devices that don’t support T-Mobile’s VoLTE protocol. This was supposed to start in August. But there hasn’t been a follow up on the 2G and 3G shutdowns. 

We’ll have to wait until T-Mobile sends out a new update regarding this.

 

Source: 1, 2

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  • Sharti24

    When will Sprint LTE be shutdown?

    • shawn murray

      its not it is being transition to t-moble network

      • Andy_Naija

        With band 26 (800Mhz) being sold to Dish.

  • g2a5b0e

    I think it’s weird that the 3G networks are being shut down before the 2G, but I’m sure there’s a good reason for it…

    • weidnerj

      There are devices like ATM machines and IoT devices that are legacy that are more difficult to upgrade than replacing a phone.

      • g2a5b0e

        Makes sense. I figured there was a good reason.

      • SteveD

        PoS devices, Ankle monitors, Parking meters. There are a lot of devices out there that rely on 2G still.

        And for things like ankle monitors and Parking meters that means you’re up against Governments and the various Departments of Justice waiting for them to upgrade equipment.

    • Zerovanity

      The 3G signals use 5 MHz. This is the only channel size allowed in the UMTS standard. That 5 MHz can be reused for 4G or 5G. The 2G channel size is 0.2 MHz. This is small enough that T-Mobile has the full size LTE channels deployed with the 2G “hidden” at the edges (the guard bands). T-Mobile wants to turn off 2G, so they can save costs or to deploy NB-IoT.

  • illstplaya .

    It would have been stupid for them to shutdown 3G so soon. There’s a lot of devices that cannot make calls on LTE and still need 3G

    • UTMS is the old 3G network. They are keeping HSPA “4G” advanced 3G network for some time.

      • Zerovanity

        HSPA is built on the third generation technology, UMTS. It is being shutdown. HSPA is labeled as 4G on most phones because it is certified as meeting the minimum performance of 4G, not because it was new.

    • Shaun Michalak

      I do not understand. How long do you expect cell companies to keep stuff up.. They first put up 4G in 2010.. That was 11 years ago.. Heck, even Verizon has already shut down both, their 2 and 3G service already.. So why do you think it is stupid for T-Mobile to shut it down, after Verizon has theirs shut down?? Just how many decades do you expect them to keep things up for the 5% that refuse to update their stuff..

      Not only that, but considering the fact that people with 3G phones have almost no coverage anymore.. What would be the point in “not” upgrading?? Probably only about 5% of all T-Mobile coverage actually supports 3G.. All towers that T-Mobile has put up in the past 7 years, they never put any service on older then 4G..

      • marque2

        Tmobile still had 3g HSPA+ in 2012, I think 2012 is when they added LTE in a prolonged roll out, just like the 5g today. There were still a lot of phones for Tmobile in 2012 that did not have LTE, as in the Nexus 4 which was first sold in November 2012

        • Shaun Michalak

          Yes and no.. They actually did 4G signals in 2011?? if I remember right.. The original 4G did not have LTE on it.. Just like how when they went to LTE, it did not have VoLTE on it then either.. They were upgrades over time to the technology.

          While I would agree that there are a lot of phones that are out there, that are still 3G and still in use.. They are a small fraction of the overall users.. and while I do think that it sucks that people, which are happy with their phones as they are now, have to give up on them when they are still working fine.. I can also say that it is unreasonable to expect a company to have to keep up old tech beyond a certain length of time.. In a sense, it is like telling that the TV stations have to keep their old analog service up because I still have an analog TV.. It really is not any different.. My 8 year old TV only has an analog tuner, so should the TV company be forced to keep up analog TV?? Nope.. I was forced to buy a digital converter box.. Cell phones really are not any different.

        • marque2

          They pretended HSPA and HSPA+ were 4g, that is why they were advertising 4g in 2011. Only Verizon had true 4g LTE at the time. 4g committee said, it was OK because HSPA, even though it couldn’t meet all the 4g protocols was fast enough to be called 4g. Could get 12-20mbs in the day which was pretty good – and only slightly worse than LTE, however LTE dusted T-moble and AT&T in upload speeds.

          Sprint had Wi-Max at the time, which was their independent attempt at 4g.

        • Shaun Michalak

          You are right.. I just looked it up.. I knew that they came out with something that they called 4G, but it did not have the LTE attached to it.. I thought it was 4G, and the LTE was an upgrade to 4G, like how VoLTE was later introduced to 4G.. I never realized that it was just an upgraded version of 3G..

      • Glenn Gore

        You raise a very good point. Cellphone manufacturers are forced to maintain support in their phones for GSM, 2G, 3G, “4G/HSPA”, LTE, and now 5G on the GSM side of things because every single one of those technologies is still in use somewhere in the country. Some sites have never been upgraded from some of those technologies as the carriers have never completed one single upgrade of their entire systems since the analog shutdown, which was mandated by the FCC. It will perhaps require some sort of mandate for any of these technologies to be phased out going forward, since the carriers can’t seem to do it on their own. Valuable spectrum is being wasted on these old technologies, and I don’t care how small the chunks of spectrum are, keeping them in use and forcing devices to include support for all of them is a waste of valuable resources.

        • marque2

          April of Next year to get rid of base 3g seems OK to me. Most of the 3g has already been upgraded to HSPA+

          Note that 2g,3g, and LTE are all forms of GSM, GSM wasn’t one of the Gs in itself.

        • Glenn Gore

          All T-Mobile’s sites should have been upgraded to LTE by now. There should be no 2G, 3G, “4G/HSPA”-only sites. HSPA+ is two generations old technology, having that as the best available anywhere is simply unacceptable if you’re going to charge customers the same amount of money as if they have millimeter-wave 5G available.

          My phone (OnePlus McLaren) shows “G” at times when I’m out in the country on dirt roads or at the farm somewhere in the middle of T-Mobile’s 20-mile tower spacing. And sometimes it displays “E”, so it is making some sort of distinction between them. There can also be LTE or 5G at that location. All this in the same spot, the technology available can vary depending on the day and the alignment of the moon & stars and the weather conditions. I have seen each one of them this week. I guess I should be happy that I can make and receive phone calls.

        • marque2

          E is for Edge – a 2g technology. I have never seen G on any of my phones. I would guess G would be 3g, which I have seen. You should also see H and H+, 4g or LTE, and 5g

        • Andy_Naija

          G would be GPRS, also a 2G technology.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I believe that T-Mobile had all of their sites upgraded to 4G LTE for years.. The main one I know of that did not upgrade all of their towers to that standard is Sprint, and AT&T.. Which sprint is now being done because of the merger.. and AT&T is doing across the board because they have plans on fully shutting down all per 4G service.. So they have to upgrade or they would have no service in those areas.

        • Zerovanity

          If T-mobile only has mid-band in that location (no bands 12 or 71), and we are at the very edge of the signal, then the phone may bounce between 2G, 3G, and 4G as the signals go in and out.

        • Zerovanity

          Technically, GSM is only 2G. 3GPP created UMTS, LTE, and NR as generational follow ons to GSM.

        • Hermann Reiner

          2G and 3g frequencies will disappear when they need the frequencies for 5G. You may need 2g and 3G when you travel to some third world country, some are still on 2G, even in africa some running their payment systems on 2G

      • illstplaya .

        Because the only phones that can call over LTE and WiFi are phones bought through T mobile and a few other unlocked phones. That’s fine and dandy if you buy through tmobile. But the majority of phones that are unlocked are not able to use VoLTE and WiFi calling because tmobile wants to force you to buy phones from them. So that leaves a huge population of tmobile users scrambling trying to figure out what to do and that’s not right. Nor is it ok for them to try and force you to buy a phone through them, that’s pure BS. So until Tmobile fixes that issue then 3G and 2G need to be left on.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I could be mistaken, but as far as I am aware.. VoLTE is pretty much the same for all carriers these days.. I thought that they worked that out for it to be standardized about 5 or 6 years ago.. I do know that Wifi calling is specific to each carrier.. But Wifi calling is based on software or extra programs that is company specific.. The only phones that I know of that do not support VoLTE are the first round of 4G phones before VoLTE was introduced.. But then again, those first phones were just upgrade versions of 3G called 4G..

      • dsignrr

        Even if you “have” one of the phones that “is” compatible, you need to live in town where they have good signal strength. Hilly suburban neighborhoods like mine don’t seem to be a priority for T-Mo’s “coverage” dept.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Actually, I have noticed a lot of rural areas where T-Mobile has put up service in the past few years.. In my state, PA, they went from probably something like 10% coverage, at most, to now having probably more like 80% coverage across the state.. Most of which is in rural areas.. By the time that they get Sprint towers merged in, I could easily see that being closer to 90%..

          But the problem still remains for 3G customers, and that is, all that new coverage.. None if it has 3G service on it.

    • Mark Cucchiara

      The letter says UMTS only. HSPA 3G is not mentioned.

      • Zerovanity

        HSPA is built on top of UMTS. They are shutting HSPA down.

      • Joshua Shah

        If they shut down UMTS, HSPA+ will be shut off too as HSPA+ is built on top of UMTS

    • Andy_Naija

      While I believe that they should leave their 3G network on longer, T-Mobile is the best carrier when it comes to allowing a huge variety of phones to utilize VoLTE, so this situation is a lot better than AT&T’s 3G shutdown where they’re allowing only specific devices to access certain network features.

  • radioman

    The way TMo had put 2g in the guard bands of 1900mhz means that 2g practically uses no spectrum. They could keep it going forever if they choose

  • dsignrr

    T-Mo’s LTE signal in my rural N Bay area neighborhood is too weak to hold a call, so I had to find one of their old 3G Cell-fi boosters to have decent signal in my house. I can also use Wifi calling until there is a power or cable outage, which is fairly frequent here lately. Without the 3G and my generator we have NO contact with the outside world. I will not be happy if they cut the 3G without improving their 4G coverage/strength.

    • Shaun Michalak

      Do you have a really old 4G phone, or a newer one?? There are a lot of places that have gotten much better service with a phone that supports band 71.. From the traveling that I have done over the past few years, from what I have seen, I do not think I found one place that I got a 3G signal from, that did not have 4G. If I actually did find somewhere that I did get better service with 3G, it was because T-Mobile did not have coverage there, and I was jumping off of a AT&T tower..