It’s a few months to the ATT turn off their 3G networks in the United States. Due to the change, the operator is offering free cell phone replacement to those who have old devices that do not support 4G. The company has also recently started shipping smartphones such as the Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9 and Galaxy A11 to customers who haven’t requested a replacement device.
Device replacement due is nothing new. The operator offers an option for consumers to request the replacement of their old phones without 4G or VoLTE support, which will be necessary for calls for some time. After the order, the exchange is carried out according to the platform used by the customer.
For example, if you have an older iPhone, upon request AT&T will deliver a newer model. This is the case of the second generation of the iPhone SE, announced at the beginning of 2020. For those who have an Android cell phone, the exchange is carried out for a Radiant Core, a low-cost smartphone with a quad core chip and 16 GB of space.
But there is new in this process. Since the beginning of August, users of Reddit report that they are receiving Samsung cell phones without even having asked. This is the case for more advanced models, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy S9, and simpler options, such as the Galaxy A11. Check out a comment shared on the social network on August 10, 2021:
I know AT&T is shipping free cell phones due to 3G shutdown. I called to see if they could send me a free iPhone SE but was denied because AT&T’s iPhone SE is for iPhone users only and they are reading the tower IMEI to determine eligibility.
I asked them to stop, as I’m not interested in that Radiant Core phone.
But AT&T suddenly sent me a Samsung [Galaxy] S9.
Galaxy Note 9 and more are offered at no charge
O Android Police had access to more details about shipping the phones after the site’s founder received a unit of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 last week. In addition to the cell phone and a new chip, the operator submitted a pamphlet in the package, which contains the information that the exchange is carried out free of charge. The statement also recalls that the 3G network will end in February 2022.
“We send you a new free cell phone for you to use on our upgraded network. This will allow you to continue to connect with all the things you love,” they stated. “If you don’t activate your new phone, we will automatically activate it in approximately 30 days.” AT&T recommends recycling your old device.
Sought by the site, the operator said it has not changed its plans to replace the devices. “However, inventory restrictions mean that we must sometimes find replacements for some devices,” they explained on Friday (3).
AT&T to shut down 3G networks in February
AT&T will end 3G. In May, the company announced that the shutdown of third-generation networks will take place in February 2022. With the change, US customers will have to use newer devices that support 4G and 5G. Still, not all cell phones will work on the operator.
In addition to 4G, phones must support VoLTE. The technology is essential for cell phones to make calls through fourth-generation networks. In addition, some Android smartphones marketed by competing carriers may have voice settings under 4G restricted to the originating company.
With information: Android Police, Reddit (1, 2, 3 and 4) and SamMobile