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You may have heard that carriers will begin sunsetting 3G networks and phasing out older 3G wireless technology. Some networks like AT&T have already shut down their 3G networks while others aim to retire everything by the end of the year. 

This has critical implications for universities and colleges that are utilizing 3G POS systems and credit card readers. As network performance continues to degrade on the 3G spectrum, payment terminals may no longer function as intended. This can create severe disruptions and issues for merchants across campus. 

There is a solution. Understanding the “why” and “how” of upgrading and replacing hardware and software before the end of its useful life can help you avoid problems now and in the future. 

Transition from 3G: Fallout and Challenges

POS terminals have modems and these modems are not compatible with all generations of a network. For many merchants, this means they may be relying on older terminals that cannot support 4G. When 3G networks are officially shut down, these merchants will be forced to upgrade. The process of reterminalization is not an easy one, which is why merchants must begin planning and implementing new hardware and software as soon as possible.  

Even for networks that won’t be terminating 3G until later this year or next, there could still be intermittent connectivity disruptions. This places a heavier burden on support teams and field technicians who have their hands full with equipment replacements. 

The key is to work with a partner that understands the upcoming changes and can serve as an additional resource to help quickly replace older POS terminals before issues occur. Speed is key as connectivity issues and other problems that may arise can damage your reputation with customers and lead to loss of trust — and business. 

Arrow Payments Can Help

We are currently helping clients upgrade terminals and credit card readers – particularly those using 3G mobile devices that are losing cellular connectivity. Please reach out to us if you need assistance with this process. You can also view some additional information about the timing of 3G sunsets across various networks below: 

T-Mobile (and Sprint) 3G Sunset Key Dates: 

  • Sprint’s older 3G (CDMA) network will retire on March 31, 2022
  • Sprint’s LTE network will retire on June 30, 2022
  • T-Mobile’s older 3G UMTS network will retire on July 1, 2022

More information available here. 

Device models that will need to be upgraded include:

  • Devices (handsets, IoT/M2M, tablets and air cards) that operate solely on the Sprint CDMA Network
  • Devices that operate using dual mode CDMA/LTE or LTE technologies that do not support Voice over LTE (“VoLTE”)

Get additional information on T-Mobile’s transition here. 

Verizon 3G Sunset Key Dates: 

  • The last of the 3G CDMA network will be shut down on December 31, 2022

Device models that need to be upgraded include: 

  • Device models that are 3G (CDMA) and 4G that do not support HD Voice (Non-VoLTE) will be impacted. Some of the popular impacted devices include:
  • 3G basic phones and smartphones
  • 4G LTE smartphones that do not support HD Voice
    • Apple iPhone 5, 5C, 5S, or Prior
    • Samsung Galaxy S4 or Prior
  • Connected devices
    • GizmoPal, GizmoPal2, GizmoGadget
    • Various Hum + models
    • 3G Home Phone Connect
  • 3G tablets and mobile broadband
    • Apple iPad 2
  • Proprietary custom-built 3G equipment

Arrow Payments is committed to helping you transition through these challenges. Please reach out for a free consultation.

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