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AT&T dropping support for 3G and Pro1?


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I got an email from AT&T saying their network will soon drop support for my F(x)tec Pro1 because they are getting rid of 3G.  What?  I am sure it supports 4G.

I censored any potentially personal information in the email.  The "learn more" link goes to here.

Screenshot_20200721-182828~2.png

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From a quick look at the link, it seems like AT&T is doing away with their 3G bands. Basically if you do not have 4G LTE connections then you won't have service. My guess is that AT&T doesn't know anything about our Pro1s. (If I go to my T-Mobile account it says that my phone is an "unknown device" yet my service seems to be working fine)

I honestly think you'd be ok seeing as the phones supported on the list include an iPhone 6. We both know our Pro1s are much higher spec than that.

...

But I could be completely wrong. It's just my two cents.

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I have AT&T Prepay-- they don't even keep track of what phone you have.  I suspect you have a contract plan.  It's possible, if you took a sim that was previously used in a contract phone, that they still think you have that phone.  They are almost certainly not aware you have a Pro1, nor do they know what it is.  The Pro1 supports 4G just fine.

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1 hour ago, itsdevilslettuce said:

From a quick look at the link, it seems like AT&T is doing away with their 3G bands. Basically if you do not have 4G LTE connections then you won't have service. My guess is that AT&T doesn't know anything about our Pro1s. (If I go to my T-Mobile account it says that my phone is an "unknown device" yet my service seems to be working fine)

I honestly think you'd be ok seeing as the phones supported on the list include an iPhone 6. We both know our Pro1s are much higher spec than that.

...

But I could be completely wrong. It's just my two cents.

That's pretty close to what I think.  That they are just playing it safe in case my unknown device only supports up to 3G

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Strange move, if you ask me.

AFAIK 3G is the only band that you can surf the web while making a call. As far as I am aware 4G & 5G will disconnect your web connection while a call is in progress because  4 & 5G can't do both simultaneously like 3G.

But I could be mistaken.

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6 hours ago, MickH said:

Strange move, if you ask me.

AFAIK 3G is the only band that you can surf the web while making a call. As far as I am aware 4G & 5G will disconnect your web connection while a call is in progress because  4 & 5G can't do both simultaneously like 3G.

But I could be mistaken.

Not exactly strange.  For calls to work on LTE, it needs VoLTE, which is a different standard.

But so far I've seen, it has been a complete shitshow in North American networks. A lot of times it's only on a subset of their own phones sold that works. North American carriers do this kind of bullshit all the time. Device whitelisting, slowing or outright not providing updates, you name it.

They seem to only care about locking you into a new contract every 2 years with "new" hardware.

Whereas my 4 year old, North American market BlackBerry Priv which has been out of support and production for years and has no business in Asia, works with VoLTE with prepaid card over there just fine.

PS: 4G HSPA is actually just an extension to UMTS, so it supports simultaneous voice as well, but 4G LTE requires VoLTE if there is no HSPA fallback. Blame the ITU and GSMA for allowing this crap. and "5G" on AT&T is just LTE.

Edited by ToniCipriani
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11 hours ago, MickH said:

Strange move, if you ask me.

AFAIK 3G is the only band that you can surf the web while making a call. As far as I am aware 4G & 5G will disconnect your web connection while a call is in progress because  4 & 5G can't do both simultaneously like 3G.

But I could be mistaken.

The technique behind 3G is old school and one of it's effects is low/bad (worse than 4G) reception. The 3G frequencies can be used for 4G which will result in much better reception in places where you now would have bad 3G reception. Also, power consumption on 3G is higher than 4G. And 4G is better suited for IP-traffic.

Edited by DieBruine
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On 7/21/2020 at 9:36 PM, lizardgai4 said:

I got an email from AT&T saying their network will soon drop support for my F(x)tec Pro1 because they are getting rid of 3G.  What?  I am sure it supports 4G.

I censored any potentially personal information in the email.  The "learn more" link goes to here.

Screenshot_20200721-182828~2.png

You definitely need to update your phone... by 2022. 😜

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On 7/21/2020 at 11:22 PM, MickH said:

Strange move, if you ask me.

AFAIK 3G is the only band that you can surf the web while making a call. As far as I am aware 4G & 5G will disconnect your web connection while a call is in progress because  4 & 5G can't do both simultaneously like 3G.

But I could be mistaken.

That's actually incorrect. You were thinking of CDMA a technology that ended with 3G and that was used by Verizon and I think Sprint.

4G doesn't have this issue. Actually 4G is interesting, because unlike previous technologies 4G is data only. VoLTE (Voice over LTE) is technology that encodes voice and sends it as data. Because everything is data in LTE that limitation no longer applies.

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9 hours ago, Derek said:

That's actually incorrect. You were thinking of CDMA a technology that ended with 3G and that was used by Verizon and I think Sprint.

4G doesn't have this issue. Actually 4G is interesting, because unlike previous technologies 4G is data only. VoLTE (Voice over LTE) is technology that encodes voice and sends it as data. Because everything is data in LTE that limitation no longer applies.

Well it didn't help that "3G" could either mean 3GPP/UMTS or 3GPP2/1xEVDO where both are vastly different.

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On 7/26/2020 at 1:31 AM, lizardgai4 said:

I was reading some articles about this, and apparently someone else stared a forum on this topic, saying their Samsung Galaxy S10E got this message, too.  Must be a mistake on AT&T's part like this article says here

"Mistakenly" sent out a message to try to get people to re-sign their 2-year contracts in the midst of a pandemic where connectivity is crucial... totally a mistake.

I'm sorry but I have zero faith in any US/Canadian carrier not trying to screw with their customer base on a daily basis.

Edited by ToniCipriani
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USA telecom company abusing their users? Just another day at USA telecom.

/me still laughs in 2G

Yes. Where I live, 2G network is still the near-total coverage, 3G is available wildly and 4G only available in major cities.

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Well, I have no idea about AT&T, but this can be potentially an issue. In my area (Czech Republic):

* 4G is supported by all the major carriers and have a good coverage.

* While VoLTE is also supported, it is not enough to just have a phone with VoLTE support. You need a phone that is explicitly allowed by the carrier, sometimes you also need the phone to be bought at the carrier. (Yes, this resembles the 1G/NMT times...) For a niche phone, you are likely out of luck. Sometimes, you might be successful with requesting an exception at the carrier.

* 3G is also supported, but the coverage is limited and one carrier has announced dropping this network next year.

* 2G is also supported, has a good coverage and is not planned to be turned off by any carrier. IIRC, it doesn't support data and call at the same time.

 

As a result, 2G network is still important for many people with phones that support 4G+VoLTE, or even 5G+Vo5G.

So, I suggest:

1. Check if you can use your phone with VoLTE. If so, I don't think you are affected.

2. If you cannot use VoLTE with your carrier just because of not being whitelisted, ask your carrier for that.

3. If you have no luck with VoLTE, you can check for availability and coverage of 2G. If you are OK with having no data while calling and you have a good coverage of a 2G network, you are still covered. Maybe 2G doesn't support so great voice quality, but it is still usable.

4. If you cannot use VoLTE and 2G is not an option for some reason, look for another carrier. I am not sure about your contract, but you might be able to end the contract for free when your carrier makes such a change.

 

I wouldn't hesitate contacting the carrier. After all, they have contacted you about an issue you want to sort out.

 

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4 hours ago, v6ak said:

* While VoLTE is also supported, it is not enough to just have a phone with VoLTE support. You need a phone that is explicitly allowed by the carrier, sometimes you also need the phone to be bought at the carrier. (Yes, this resembles the 1G/NMT times...) For a niche phone, you are likely out of luck. Sometimes, you might be successful with requesting an exception at the carrier.

EDIT:

I have moved my reply as part of a new more general VoLTE thread

 

 

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Is it a genuine AT&T email?

I'd be very suspicious about clicking on any links in the message and go straight to the network's website via bookmark or Google search. In fact it's a practice that I use with every email from any company I deal with.

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I am in the US using AT&T with a 4G connection.  I received that email. 

So I checked my phone.  VoLTE is provisioned (see below) although the Fxtec isn't on their whitelist.   

I used the Network Mode Universal app to turn off WiFi calling and set it to LTE only, and it seems to make calls without a problem.  Voice Network type is shown as LTE.   Fingers crossed, but I think it may be OK.

Screenshot_ATT VoLTE.png

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On 7/21/2020 at 6:36 PM, lizardgai4 said:

I got an email from AT&T saying their network will soon drop support for my F(x)tec Pro1 because they are getting rid of 3G.  What?  I am sure it supports 4G.

I censored any potentially personal information in the email.  The "learn more" link goes to here.

Screenshot_20200721-182828~2.png

I also got this message.  Which didn't make sense, seeing as I haven't had a 3G phone since my BlackBerry Bold 9900.  Since then, I have had a BlackBerry Classic, purchased through AT&T (least favorite BB OS, and only "unreliable" BlackBerry I've owned), a BlackBerry Priv purchased through BlackBerry.com/BlackBerryMobile.com.  And currently own a BlackBerry KeyOne Black Edition.

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On 8/1/2020 at 6:04 PM, cathstoll said:

I am in the US using AT&T with a 4G connection.  I received that email. 

So I checked my phone.  VoLTE is provisioned (see below) although the Fxtec isn't on their whitelist.   

I used the Network Mode Universal app to turn off WiFi calling and set it to LTE only, and it seems to make calls without a problem.  Voice Network type is shown as LTE.   Fingers crossed, but I think it may be OK.

That doesn't mean it's working.  To confirm, set your preferred network to to LTE only and try to make a call.  If it works, great, you're all set.

My device showed all the same things but was not working.  However, I can confirm that a sim swap to a supported device, a call to AT&T to enable VoLTE, confirm its working, then sim swap back, works fine.

I actually called and talked to AT&T regarding this.  This is basically confirmed at this point, they would NOT active VoLTE on my pro1 and confirmed that if the device wasn't on the approved list, it would not work come 3G doomsday.  It's unknown whether they will change their VoLTE stance when 3G actually gets shutdown, but for now this phone won't work without the sim swap.

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