Cell tower in Hopkinton

Sun file photo

As mobile carriers across the nation continue to prepare for a phaseout of 3G phones and equipment, Rhode Island State Police are urging residents to be wary that the changes could impact their ability to make an emergency call.

The phaseout will impact the ability of those with outdated equipment, with the removal of 3G networks rendering those attempting to use the network unable to connect to 911.

“We want to make sure that all Rhode Islanders are aware that the 3G phaseout will impact their ability to call 911,” said Col. James M. Manni, superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and director of the Department of Public Safety. “If you have an older mobile phone, you may need to upgrade your device to ensure that you have coverage and access to 911.”

On Jan. 1, 2022, mobile carriers will begin shutting down 3G networks to accommodate more advanced network services.

Many older cell phones will be unable to use data or to make or receive calls and texts, including calls to 911. This will affect 3G mobile phones, as well as some older 4G mobile phones that do not support voice calling over LTE.

Rhode Islanders are advised to contact their mobile phone provider for more information about how their phones may be impacted by the 3G phaseout.

— Jason Vallee

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