The US 3G Network Shutdown and What it Means for Signal Boosters

The US 3G Network Shutdown and What it Means for Signal Boosters

Alex Baker
Written by Alex Baker
1st Mar 2022

The 3G Network is coming to an end. This has far-reaching ramifications for American cellular service.

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Over the past several years, major American cell carriers have prepared to shutter their 3G service. AT&T shut down their 3G service on February 22, 2022, and Verizon and T-Mobile are not far behind, shutting down their systems on December 31, 2022. 3G was the dominant form of cellular technology during the early smartphone era and continues to be a backup network used by many in rural areas. Many products were built with 3G frequencies and technologies in mind. Those will become completely obsolete once the shutdown happens.

Among these technologies are cell signal boosters. 3G signal boosters were dominant until the late 2010s and still sold as late as 2020. With this shutdown, these boosters will change functionality. They will still function on whatever technology is put on the old frequency. No one knows what that will be right now, and will likely change depending on the area.

How Will the 3G Shutdown Affect My Booster?

If you have a recent Wilson Amplifiers booster, such as the Home MultiRoom or the older Connect 4G, it should not at all. These boosters will continue to function normally, and you need to do nothing.

However, if you have an older booster such as the dB Pro or Connect 3G, they will continue to function on these bands. What technology AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile is putting on these bands is unclear right now, but it is likely to be LTE. This means you will still receive a boost on LTE on those specific bands.

3G boosters operate on two frequencies: the 850 MHz range, and the 1900 MHz range. 4G boosters operate on these frequencies in addition to three others: 700 MHz, 1700 MHz, and 2100 MHz If the 850 MHz range is repurposed to LTE, you will be able to get a boost off that, but if the tower in your area primarily uses one of the other frequencies for LTE, you will be out of luck.

The Signal in My Home or Vehicle is Now Unusable! What Can I Do?

You have a couple options, depending on the status of your 4G signal.

4G is the dominant network technology now, despite 5G making great strides. All voice and text is done over 4G and LTE. Thus, it will be around approximately another decade until it is phased out like 3G was. Longer, if 5G rollout continues to be slow. Therefore, upgrading your obsolete 3G signal booster to a 4G cell phone signal booster is the best option for the greatest possible signal.

If you have absolutely no 4G LTE signal anywhere near your home, a 4G signal booster will not work. You may have to try one of these ways to get better cell signal.

Have any more Questions?

Ask us. We’re WilsonAmplifiers, the leading provider of cell phone signal boosters in North America.

We seriously hate dropped calls and poor coverage. Our one goal is to eliminate them from your life.

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Alex Baker
About The Author of This Article
Alex Baker
Senior Copywriter - Wilson Amplifiers
Alex has been studying all things signal boosters for the past 5 years. His technical knowledge is matched only by his writing prowess. In his spare time, he enjoys long walks, stimulating conversation, collecting video games, and trying unusual recipes.