Upcoming 3G shutdown may affect AT&T Mobley and other 4G devices

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Lou Schneider

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The upcoming 3G cellular network shutdowns will obviously make 3G phones and hotspots obsolete. But other devices like OnStar and in-car navigation systems may also be affected if they use 3G to communicate or download traffic information. Even some 4G hotspots may stop working.

Docj is affiliated with WiFi Ranger. Over on the Escapees Forum he says some 4G hotspots use 3G to log on to the cellular network, then switch to 4G if it's available. These will need an update or replacement to continue working after the 3G shutdown.

Here's a link to docj's posting:

Upcoming 3G shutdown

All of the US carriers are shutting down their 3G networks this year to free up more spectrum for 5G. AT&T is turning off their 3G network in February. T-Mobile and Sprint will follow this summer and Verizon will sunset theirs by the end of 2022.

https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/plan-ahead-phase-out-3g-cellular-networks-and-service#

About the Mobley, I see other ZTE devices but not the VM6200 Mobley listed under "These Wireless Home Phone (WHP) and AT&T Wireless Internet (AWI) devices will still work on our network after we phase out 3G in February 2022"

https://www.att.com/idpassets/images/support/wireless/Devices-Working-on-ATT-Network.pdf

I expect if the shutdown disables the Mobley, SIMs that have been transplanted into other hotspots will be instantly flagged and also disabled. Oh well, $20 a month for unlimited Internet was fun while it lasted.
 

Isaac-1

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I am hoping for the best on the Mobley, I have a Mobley SIM in an 815S which is on the supported list, and have an actual Mobley at the house on the family ranch, where we have pre-ordered Starlink, which is currently estimated for next month.
 

Tom

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Isaac-1

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Wait and see they may have just forgotten about the Mobley, it seems to have fallen through the cracks a number of times.
 
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Lou Schneider

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Yeah, that's what I'm hoping. But I have a backup for Internet access if my Mobley dies next month.

If Mobley's Connected Car plan is your only Internet source it may be time to start looking for alternatives. I have a slower unlimited data hotspot on my Visible phone that can tide me over for a while. Visible is strictly 4G (it's why Verizon started the company, to lure folks off of 3G) and besides, Verizon isn't shutting down their 3G until the end of 2022.
 

Tom

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Yeah, that's what I'm doing. But I have a backup for Internet access if my Mobley dies next month. If the Mobley is your only source it may be time to start looking for alternatives. I have a slower unlimited data Visible hotspot on my phone that can tide me over for a while. Visible is strictly 4G (it's why the company was started, to lure folks off of 3G) and besides, Verizon isn't shutting down their 3G until the end of 2022.
I've had a VZW Jetpack for a number of years. However, the monthly service fees don't compare with the AT&T service. Their 'unlimited' plan slows down drastically after some useage :(
 

John From Detroit

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And in related news Pilots are worried the new higher power 5G will affect radar altimeters so are vowing to not land at airports with 5G towers less than 2 miles distant.

Are their fears valid... Though the answer IS within my "Jurisdiction" I've not done enough study or testing. The frequencies are very close but I'm not sure what "Too close" is at those frequencies.
A quick "Google" suggests there is cause for concern.
 

Lou Schneider

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And in related news Pilots are worried the new higher power 5G will affect radar altimeters so are vowing to not land at airports with 5G towers less than 2 miles distant.
The worry is 5G activating on new C Band frequencies that are adjacent to those used by their radar altimeters. If anything this will hasten the 3G shutdowns so 5G can expand on those frequencies instead. There isn't any worry about 3G frequencies interfering with avionics as they've been heavily used without issues for a very long time.
 

Lou Schneider

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I've had a VZW Jetpack for a number of years. However, the monthly service fees don't compare with the AT&T service. Their 'unlimited' plan slows down drastically after some useage :(
Is your Jetpack strictly 4G or does it authenticate on 3G, then switch to 4G? Of course, on VZW this won't be an issue until later this year.
 

Lou Schneider

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mobley is 4G only, bands 2,4,5,12 if i remember.
it should not be an issue...
Mobley has 4G LTE on Bands 2, 4, 5 and 17. It also has 3G (UMTS) on Bands 3 and 5. The question is if 3G is just for fallback when 4G isn't available or does it authenticate on 3G and then switch to 4G like some other "4G" hotspots? Since AT&T custom spec'd the VM6200 I can't see them including the 3G capability if it wasn't necessary.
 

phil-t

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I have a slower unlimited data hotspot on my Visible phone that can tide me over for a while. Visible is strictly 4G (it's why Verizon started the company, to lure folks off of 3G) and besides, Verizon isn't shutting down their 3G until the end of 2022.
I had read that Visible is offering 5G now. Compatible device and 5G service area are required. I took my visible sim out of my hotspot and put it in my Pixel 6, here in SC. I got some awesome data speeds on a 5G connection. I need to do some more testing.
 

solarman

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Mobley has 4G LTE on Bands 2, 4, 5 and 17. It also has 3G (UMTS) on Bands 3 and 5. The question is if 3G is just for fallback when 4G isn't available or does it authenticate on 3G and then switch to 4G like some other "4G" hotspots? Since AT&T custom spec'd the VM6200 I can't see them including the 3G capability if it wasn't necessary.
that's for fallback use. I have a mobley sim in another modem device that is programmed specifically with 4G bands only. I have had no connection issues whatsoever.
 

NY_Dutch

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What gives me hope that the Mobley will keep on working is the fact that while it's not on the AT&T "OK" list, neither is the similar Harmon Spark that's still in the current product line. As I recall, back when I was setting up my Mobley account it was a separate department from the standard wireless products. At the time, the regular CSR's were clueless about the Mobley.
 

Tom

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What gives me hope that the Mobley will keep on working is the fact that while it's not on the AT&T "OK" list, neither is the similar Harmon Spark that's still in the current product line.
I hope you guys are right. Mobley is currently still working as we work our way West.
 

Tom

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Yesterday I received this email from VZW:

We are actively decommissioning our 3G CDMA network and expect this to be completed by no later than December 31, 2022. On January 1, 2023, if you are a Verizon customer using a 3G CDMA or 4G device that does not support HD Voice (Non-VoLTE), your device will no longer make/receive calls, send/receive text messages or use data services. This includes 3G (CDMA) and 4G Non-VoLTE devices and network extenders.

As we build for the future, Verizon continues to upgrade its network and migrate impacted devices to 4G LTE and 5G technologies. Virtually all of our network traffic is on our 4G LTE and/or the 5G network—both of which offer superior performance compared to previous generations.

We want you to stay connected and have the best experience possible. Multiple mobile numbers on your account will be impacted; you can review the details by logging in to My Verizon. Please upgrade your devices before December 31, 2022. To get started, go toMy Verizon, visit a local Verizon store or contact us at 800.922.0204 to discuss your new device options. Or view special upgrade offers at go.vzw.com/upgrade3g.

If you have a disability or have enabled any accessibility features on your current 3G CDMA device, please contact us to find the best solution for your needs. The Verizon Wireless National Accessibility Customer Service organization is a dedicated team with trained staff to support our customers with disabilities. They can be reached at 888.262.1999, Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM ET.

How do I know if I'm "a Verizon customer using a 3G CDMA or 4G device that does not support HD Voice (Non-VoLTE)", and my "device will no longer make/receive calls, send/receive text messages or use data services " ???
 
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