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AT&T Says Goodbye To 3G By Shutting Down Towers

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5G is the new and hottest signal technology on the market, and the three major carriers are clamoring to spread it nationwide. Thus, older technologies are going to bite the dust so that the mark of progress can continue. AT&T announced that it just shut down its 3G towers, being the first major US carrier to do so.

AT&T just shut down its 3G towers

Most people reading this probably relied on 3G technology at some point before 4G and 4G LTE took over. 3G networks were actually around during the early 2000s, and they persisted all these years. While the number of 3G users dwindled sharply over the past decade, there were still some people using the technology.

However, all good things must come to an end. AT&T just announced that it shut down its 3G towers today, cutting off network access to the people who used it. This is something we’ve been preparing for since last year. We know that all three of the major carriers are shutting down their 3G towers sometime this year. T-Mobile will be shutting down its towers at the end of July and Verizon will do so at the end of the year.

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While this is going to leave people without a signal, AT&T told CNET that less than 1% of its customers actually used the 3G networks. That 1% of people were also given a lot of warning over the past two years and plenty of opportunities to upgrade to newer phones. Now, they will need to upgrade in order to stay connected.

It seems bad, but AT&T is actually working with its customers to ensure that they aren’t left without a connection. Some customers are even getting upgraded to new phones at no cost. That should help most people transition to the faster networks more seamlessly. At this point, getting access to a new phone that can, at least, support 4G networks shouldn’t be too much of an issue, but situations are different for everyone. Giving people replacement phones will help out a lot of people.

So, what next?

After AT&T finishes shutting down the towers, it will be able to focus more on its 5G network. Right now, T-Mobile holds the title for best 5G coverage, while Verizon scored victories with speed and reliability. AT&T sits in the middle ground in most respects. When all networks retire their 3G towers, we should, ostensibly, see some gains on the 5G front.

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