Just a day after AT&T sent emails alarming customers that they need to buy new phones to risk losing service, a report from Android Police suggests that T-Mobile will be cutting off support for 3G networks sooner than AT&T. While AT&T is giving users time till January 2022, a leaked document accessed by the publication suggests that the T-Mobile will be axing 2G and 3G networks in January 2021.
Additionally, the document states that starting August 4, the company will no longer activate new devices that do not support VoLTE (Voice over LTE) and that those customers that have phones that do not support the technology have until January of next year to upgrade the devices. The firm says that Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS) will also follow this schedule, adding that all the devices in their “current lineup” include VoLTE support. The change is being made because carriers are repurposing frequencies leveraged by these older networks for LTE and 5G.
Customers with devices that do not support the technology will lose the ability to make calls, or text after January next year. While the carrier does not have a dedicated list of supported devices like T-Mobile, it might cut support for phones that were either imported or bought in an unlocked form and are being used on its network. Additionally, it is not clear if the change affects other MVNOs using T-Mobile’s network, including the likes of Google Fi, Consumer Cellular, and others.
The Un-carrier is yet to send out communication regarding the change to customers, but it is no surprise that a lot of customers that are impacted by the change will be alarmed at the less than six-month timeline to upgrade their phones. It will be interesting to see what the customer feedback will be when the communication does go out and if T-Mobile will extend the timelines for retiring the old networks.