Devices_T-Mobile 3G Sunset

Linus Lu Updated by Linus Lu Permissioned article This article is internal and cannot be seen by public viewers.

Starting on June 16th 2021, T-Mobile devices having 2G, 3G and even 4G are not activating until and unless the devices have VoLTE feature available. Only IoT devices with LTE compatibility will work.

If an onboarding customer has already purchased a SIM card and activated a GSM plan, and is not able to get service, you can:

  1. Check their IMEI to make sure that the problem is that their device does not have VoLTE feature (HD Voice).
  2. If yes, Let customer know their phone is not compatible with our services (and those of most carriers). Log a full refund for them.
  3. You can offer them a service credit of $30 for the first month if they buy a new phone. We need the customer to show proof of purchase of new phone. You must ask the customer for a receipt for the new phone.
  4. Make sure to add comments to AP that we made a commitment to this customer for $30 for the first month.
  5. Add the case to this google sheet.
  6. If customer showed a receipt -> share this promo code: SWAPPAUSMACT. This is a one time up to $30 activation promocode.
Starting on August 4th 2020, T-Mobile will begin the first step of shutting down its 3G network.

What does this mean?

  • New activations for 3G-only devices will not be able to get on the GSM LTE network. Our activation flow is not currently designed to catch these issues, so we expect some customers (around 3-5 a day) to experience these issues.
  • The most common 3G-only devices our customers use are:
  1. Nokia 3310 3G
  2. ZTE Z222
  3. BLU Grand M2
  4. BLU Advance A4

Existing customers on 3G will not be affected as of now. They will continue to be able to use their devices as normal. As months go on and T-Mobile begins shutting down their 3G infrastructure, we may begin to see 3G customers experience slower data speeds and decreased service. 

  • We can expect updates from T-Mobile about the exact timeline of their network shutdown and how it will affect existing customers.

What are we doing?

  • We are updating the website to make it clear that our networks do not serve 3G-only devices, including in the activation flow. This will hopefully decrease the number of customers who cannot access service and have to reach out to product support.
  • We are also updating the device compatibility check on our Networks page to reflect these changes

What this means for you

  • If potential customers reach out asking about whether we have service for a 3G device, say that we don’t. 
  • If they are asking about their specific device or don’t know if their device is 3G only, ask for their device IMEI and run it through admin in T-Mobile -> Device Query. You can see if their device is eligible for US Mobile by seeing if the “Network Technology” field is 4G or LTE. We can also allow 2G devices on for now - only those that say 3G will be completely disallowed.

If an onboarding customer has already purchased a SIM card and activated a GSM plan, and is not able to get service, you can:

  • Check their IMEI to make sure that the problem is that their device is 3G-only
  • If yes, see if their device is Verizon-compatible. Encourage them to switch to Super LTE on their current device if it’s VZ compatible. Most likely it will not be.
  • If not, we can offer them $60 in service credits if they want to purchase a new Super LTE compatible device and bring it to US Mobile. Introduce them to the device offerings we have that are Verizon compatible (should be all of them that are in stock).
  • We want to ask them to use Super LTE/Verizon first, since it’s a better network and it’s more worth it for us.
  • If they insist on wanting to stay on GSM/T-Mobile, we can still offer them $60 in service credits to bring a new device to us. They can purchase an unlocked phone from us or they can buy a device from a third party.
  • To apply the $60 service credit, give the customer the promo code 4GUPGRADEACT after they confirm that their new device IMEI is 4G-enabled.

How did we do?

Devices_Nokia 3310 APN Settings

Devices_Texting_GSM LTE