OUR VIEW: 3G shutting down reminder of speed of technology

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, February 23, 2022

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As it always does — seemingly at the speed of light — technology continues to steamroll along. If you buy a new electronic device, it feels like just a few days later it’s old, replaced by the new hot thing on the market.

Most people aren’t early adopters. We fall into a rhythm of upgrading our phones every couple of years, buying a new tablet every few years, a new television when the old one breaks or the picture gets blurry. We like to think that’s most of us.

Of course, there are exceptions.

Maybe you’re really excited about the new iPhone or Android product, or you saw a deal you couldn’t refuse on that big screen TV for the big game. However, most of us fall into a normal updating pattern, one that our cellular carriers have figured out (and sort of created).

But then there’s the other side of the spectrum — the people who have a phone (or any electronic) that works just fine.

They never upgrade. They’ll use that product until it breaks in half, and even then continue to use it if they can somehow make it work.

And that brings us to the news that 3G networks are being shut down. AT&T has been sending new phones to people on the old network. The shutdown impacts 3G Kindles and flip phones, iPhone 5 models and earlier and older Android phones.

AT&T (and other carriers) have been sending out information for months, and even years, to get people to upgrade their device. Free phones were even sent out.

If you’re reading this — hopefully not on a phone that old — then the deadline has come and gone. AT&T’s deadline was Feb. 22 (yesterday).

If you are worried about whether or not you’re using a 3G phone, then you probably aren’t. We encourage you to contact your carrier to find out for sure.

Like life, technology seems to move at the speed of sound. It seems like just yesterday that 3G was the new thing out. Now, it’s old news.