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3G shutting down in Maine, impacting older phones, devices

November 18, 2021 GMT

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — Starting in 2022, the 3G mobile network will be shutting down in Maine, impacting older cellphones and some other devices that connect to the internet, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Each telecommunications company will take down their 3G networks at different times next year, the Bangor Daily News reported Thursday.

“Mobile carriers have the flexibility to choose the types of technologies and services they deploy, including when they decommission older services in favor of newer services to meet consumer demands,” the FCC said in an online consumer guide.

3G was introduced in 2001 and is being replaced by faster networks like 5G that can support more users, the newspaper reported.

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Some older cellphones will not be able to make or receive calls or texts after the switch and other devices like medical alert devices, smart watches, vehicle SOS services, home security systems and tablets could stop working. Some devices may continue to function if their software can be updated, the FCC said.

People should contact their mobile phone carrier or the device manufacturer for details on what devices will be impacted and if they are offering any deals or incentives for trading in older devices. The FCC also said it offers programs to help certain low-income people pay for telephone and broadband services.