3G networks to be decommissioned in Washtenaw County

September 20, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

Please be advised that the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office is informing residents that cell phone carriers have begun decommissioning 3G networks. This means your older style 3G models of Tracfones, flip phones, Jitterbugs, etc. will no longer have the ability to make calls, including to 911, while in Washtenaw County.

If you’re unsure whether your phone is a 3G model, check the phone’s IMEI serial number. You can find the IMEI number in a smartphone under the “About” tab. You can also find the IMEI by following these steps:

  • You should be able to press *#06# on the phone’s keypad to bring up the IMEI
  • You can then enter the IMEI number at https://www.imei.info
  • This website will provide you with the details on the phone and the network it is set up for. The 3G network uses frequencies at 900Mhz or 2100Mhz.

As cell phone carriers move toward 5G, they have committed to shutting down 3G services by the end of 2022. According to the FCC, shutting down 3G frees up network frequencies and allows for faster, more reliable service. 5G will also help 911 call centers by giving more information during emergency situations.

Click here for more information on this alert.