Your AT&T cellphone isn’t really likely to end making calls whenever shortly

Your AT&T phone isn't going to stop making calls anytime soon

AT&T customers have been obtaining a worrisome e mail or textual content message from the provider indicating that their telephones are on the brink of no for a longer time currently being supported, and that has caused very an outcry. The challenge, AT&T says, is that it programs to shut down its 3G network, that means all phone calls will have to be produced over VoLTE (aka High definition Voice rather. And because only certain telephones work with AT&T’s VoLTE system, all other non-permitted phones will no for a longer period be ready to make calls when that shutdown occurs.

But there’s no need to fret — this warning from AT&T is very premature, and your calling services will be retained right until at least the stop of 2021. This is what is definitely heading on.

VoLTE: How to use it and why you ought to care

Why (and when) is AT&T shifting from 3G contacting to VoLTE?

To place things simply just, AT&T is trying to make the most of its spectrum (how quite a few lanes it has offered for site visitors). Every single provider has a minimal volume of spectrum in which to deploy 3G, 4G and 5G services, and maintaining any volume of it locked up giving 3G to users when it could be far better utilized for 4G and 5G is an inefficient use of sources. So AT&T is planning to shut down its 3G network in early 2022, which will necessitate all phone calls transferring to 4G.

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Now, this is just not a new strategy. Verizon and T-Cellular have currently designed similar shifts absent from 3G to an all-LTE calling network, so they can reuse cherished spectrum holdings to deploy their new 5G networks. This is a fully standard factor to do, but it can be a big change — and that’s why AT&T is getting so significantly out forward of the precise shutdown with its messaging.

AT&T supplied the adhering to assertion to Android Police when asked about these buyer emails, proudly owning up to the reality that it should’ve been clearer with the messaging:

This e mail was just one of lots of prepared to maintain buyers educated about the shutdown of our 3G community in early 2022. It should really have included the date that particular equipment would no longer be supported. We apologize for any confusion this may perhaps have brought on and will be a lot more very clear in future updates.

Does my phone help AT&T VoLTE?

This is the rub: it just isn’t obvious specifically which products assistance AT&T’s Hd Voice services. The only sure-fire way to know that your cellular phone supports VoLTE on AT&T is to buy a phone from AT&T (or have bought just one in the final couple decades). That is annoying, due to the fact we know there are enormous benefits to shopping for telephones unlocked, and AT&T’s branded phones are generally loaded with bloatware and other customizations.

There’s no sure-hearth way to know if your unlocked cell phone will guidance AT&T VoLTE.

AT&T publishes a list of “telephones that do the job on our community”, with particular product numbers of devices that it has certified for use, but it truly isn’t really clear if that also means that every of people units supports High definition Voice. (For case in point, the Galaxy S4 Mini, from 2013, is on the checklist.)

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The unlocked mobile phone circumstance is aggravating since some unlocked phones do help AT&T’s VoLTE, even however AT&T will not say they do. Other unlocked phones are known to have all of the right technology to use VoLTE (i.e. they are unlocked styles of the actual mobile phone AT&T sells) but are disallowed from executing so by AT&T. You can come across hundreds of web pages of forum discussions about which unlocked phones do and don’t aid VoLTE on AT&T — with tiny consensus.

If you have an unlocked cellular phone on AT&T and are curious as to no matter if it supports Hd Voice, you can get additional info by working with a network info app — like this 1, this one particular or this one. Install the app, disconnect from Wi-Fi, area a get in touch with, and even though even now on the get in touch with check to see if the application exhibits it getting spot around LTE. This is not a ensure that your mobile phone is/is just not appropriate, but it really is a superior start out. Moreover, you can simply call AT&T buyer service and inquire if your cellular phone is provisioned for Hd Voice — lessen-stage purchaser provider aid could not know, but you can get fortunate.

Do I need to have to upgrade my AT&T mobile phone now?

No, you don’t.

AT&T is aware how numerous phones are on its network nonetheless earning 3G phone calls continue to, and that is possibly a extremely big variety. For that reason it wishes to get started pushing folks to upgrade to a VoLTE-able cell phone now, relatively than waiting around until finally the final second with the 3G shutdown nearing. Therefore the pretty untimely messages about cellphone incompatibility. But the real truth is, your phone will proceed to perform and make calls right until the previous moment, so there’s no want to upgrade your cellphone these days.

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Now certainly if you do enhance your telephone right now, and you purchase it from AT&T, it will support VoLTE and you can be established for the upcoming changeover away from 3G (though that’s nonetheless a long ways off). You can expect to also be capable to in fact acquire benefit of VoLTE, which provides greater-quality voice phone calls, in the meantime.

Realistically, this is a problem for you to assume about a yr from now, in the second half of 2021, when the 3G shutdown is basically imminent. Your telephone will keep on to function just wonderful until then.

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