It might cease to function if you own an older phone since cell phone providers switch off their 3G signal to create space for the latest technologies, like 5G.
AT&T is closing the 3G network of their company on Tuesday, February. 22. However, some critics worry that the 3G end of service could put older individuals at risk.
3G technology is utilized for emergency alarm systems found in your vehicle and home security systems. It is also used in medical devices and older mobile phones.
Tom Kamber is the executive director of the Older Adults Technologies Services. He says, “Most of the programs offered, most of the programs include emergency alarms. These are alarms; they’re medical alerts for your car, and the ones on the vehicle are usually used for emergency communications. Many people use the older smartphones or cell phones for emergencies phones.”
And AARP fears that what’s known as the 3G sunset could affect seniors the most. It’s the reason it’s asking businesses to wait until the final day of the year before they switch off 3G.
Kamber stated that older Americans are the least likely to embrace the latest technology. “They are in the category of ‘I’m not willing to purchase the latest piece of technology unless I’m sure that it’s going to work better for me than what the previous model did. ‘”
The AARP is working to get the word out in the community that time is now to make upgrades.
Some of the improvements are beyond your control. Like, for example, monitoring the school bus that your child attends.
Districts across the country utilize 3G to monitor the location of buses and send messages and alerts to drivers.
The majority of districts located in Southwest Florida say the 3G sunset won’t impact its buses, with the possible exception of Collier County Public Schools. They utilize both 3G as well as 4G.
A representative stated that they are currently changing the 3G buses that remain and are expecting to have them all upgraded by the end of the summer.
Kamber told me, “It’s amazing the breadth of applications which are all wireless.”
AARP suggests that you go through your house, noting devices connected to 3G, like the alarm system in your home or wearables, and then contact the service provider.
Abbott and Medtronic posted information on their websites about upgrading cell networks.
For instance, those who use Medtronic’s “MyCare Link’ monitor to communicate the data of an implanted heart device with their doctor may require a USB cell dongle to operate.
Abbott’s Merlin System that monitors pacemakers could require an update to continue the service.
To clarify, The devices themselves are not affected; however, the network used for connecting to the web and sharing your information with your doctor has to be at least 4G.
Since the upgrade was scheduled several years ago, most businesses and users have made the necessary changes or upgraded gadgets that work with the promotion.
Another issue to be considered is fall detection systems for fall detection.
Similar issues are in play. If you’re concerned or don’t know if your device supports 5G, we suggest you contact the company directly or visit their website.
If there’s something you must know, it must be made available.
Suppose you or someone close to you use these devices remotely to track heart functions. It’s a good idea to consider it now because other major cell phone carriers are expected to stop 3G services shortly.