Some Cell Phones Will Not Work in 2022

By Eileen Doherty, MS ~

The major companies that offer cell phone service are phasing out cellphones that use a 3G network, including those that are used solely for the purpose of calling 911.

A lot of older cellphones, including the IPhone 5, IPhone 5S and Samsung Galaxy S4, as well as many of the flip phones, will become obsolete in 2022 as mobile providers make the switch to 5G networks.

Some tracfones, flip phones, Jitterbugs and even older-style smartphones will no longer be able to make calls once the networks are taken down. Most of these phones, which are sometimes called “third generation” phones were launched nearly 20 years ago and will no longer work with most of the carriers in 2022.

The Federal Communications Commission says that oftentimes mobile carriers upgrade their networks to make them faster and to use the latest technology.

The FCC has released the following schedule for shutdowns of the 3G network:  AT&T, February 2022; Verizon, December 31, 2022. T-Mobile, March 31, 2022 and Sprint’s 4G network by June 30, 2022.  T-Mobile’s 3G UMTS network will shut down by July 1, 2022. The shutdown date for the T-Mobile 2G network has not been announced.

The FCC recommends that you first contact your mobile provider for more information about their phone and network retirement plan, as well as to discuss your options for a new phone.  Some carriers may be offering discounts for those individuals needing different devices.

Given the cost of internet services, as well as the purchase of a new device, older adults who are still using these devices should take action immediately to avoid any disruption in services and to allow time to plan for the possible increase in costs and purchase of new phones.

For more information, call 303-333-3482 or 1-855-294-3971 (toll free) or 1-855-880-4777 (Spanish).

Eileen Doherty

Eileen Doherty

Eileen Doherty, MS is the Executive Director of the Colorado Gerontological Society.  Her areas of expertise include management and administration of nonprofit organizations, education and training on issues related to older adults, advocacy and policy development on senior issues, and clinical practice in working with seniors and families to manage their lives in the later years. She has been the Director of the Society since 1982.  She teaches Nonprofit Management for Fort Hays State University.


  1. hi……….i have aTRACFONE LG REBEL 4 lte……….can you tell me When it will END/STOP working………thank you……..G

  2. I have a Alcatel TCL A1 (A501DL) that is 4GLTE but the Carrier isn’t Sprint will I have to upgrade before or on June 30 2022

Leave a Reply

Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/customer/www/ on line 499