CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Are you someone who still uses a flip phone or maybe has an early 2000's car with a navigation system?
Well, you might have to start thinking about an upgrade, along with several other electronics. AT&T will be shutting down their 3G network Feb. 22.
“Once you do a little bit of research and you look into what we’re actually losing, it’s very concerning,” said Megan Tucker, a concerned citizen.
Tucker was surprised to learn that 3G networks will begin to shutdown to make way for 5G. She said her grandpa still uses a flip phone, like many elderly folks, which he relies on.
"I really hope that AT&T and some of these other big tech giants that are considering getting rid of the 3G technology, I just hope that they’ll just think of our fixed incomes, our children, our at risk community as well," Tucker said.
She's worried about the cost and functionality of upgrading to a smart phone.
Price can be an issue for several upgrades because cell phones won't be the only impact. Also affected are navigation systems, emergency systems in vehicles like OnStar and home security systems.
“We’ve been trying to make contact for the last year and a half letting them know that this upgrade is coming and not to wait for the last minute to get upgraded,” William Mandel, president of Dynamark Security Centers said.
Mandel said they started notifying customers with mass emails. Then six months ago, they began making calls. He said all customers are now up-to-date running on 4G and 5G security systems.
“It’s important that people think about this," he said. "Don’t let it blind side you at the very end. Nobody wants to be in a position where they need their alarm system and the alarm goes off one day and then nobody calls.”
Tucker said she was taken by surprise to learn about the loss of 3G. She said she understands technology is ever evolving, but feels like she could be left in the dust.
Interestingly enough, when I called AT&T speaking about maybe getting a different phone, they were actually talking about letting 4G go, as well," she said.
"It's all about technology upgrades," Mandel said. "You know, 5G has come along already. We went through this a few years ago with 2G. 2G got sunsetted and everything kind of moved over to 3G."
Tucker's biggest concern was getting help for the financially unstable that are most affected by the loss of their 3G technology.
AT&T has said they will provide free replacement phones for certain people with flip phones.
To see if you qualify you can visit AT&T's website, here.
To get a replacement phone, AT&T suggests visiting your local AT&T branch, or you can call customer service.
Mandel said other providers will be following suit this year and shutting down their 3G networks.
T-Mobile will end theirs on July 1 and Verizon will shut theirs down on New Year's Eve.
If you do upgrade your alarm system or purchase a new one, Corpus Christi does require you to register with the police or they may not respond.
For the latest local news updatesclick here, or download the Action 10 News App.